New RIRDC Board Directors announced 19 Aug 2011

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has announced its new Board Directors.

Mr Sam Archer, Dr Michael Guerin, Ms Alana Johnson and Dr Len Stephens are the four new Directors on the nine person RIRDC Board. The new Board Directors will take their positions immediately and each will serve three year terms.

RIRDC Managing Director, Craig Burns said the four new Directors bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the RIRDC Board.

“RIRDC plays an important role in the development and support of rural Australia and the new Board Directors bring an impressive and diverse set of skills and experience that will provide strong guidance and expert governance to the organisation,” Mr Burns said. 

Sam Archer manages a mixed farming enterprise based on livestock, cereal production and native pastures at Gundagai, NSW.  Mr Archer was awarded an Australian Nuffield Farming Scholarship in 2008, and travelled throughout the Americas, Europe and India researching private sector funded environmental stewardship schemes broadly based around carbon, water and biodiversity. Mr Archer holds a commerce degree and an Honours Degree majoring in Anthropology.

Dr Michael Guerin was the Chief Operating Officer at Elders Limited (2009 – 2010) and also served as its Managing Director of Rural Services (2008). Dr Guerin was the Managing Director of the Australia & New Zealand (ANZ) Banking Group’s Pacific Division (2005 – 2008) and also served as the Managing Director of ANZ’s Regional and Rural Banking arm. He also served as a Director of Rural Bank Limited (2009 – 2010).

Alana Johnson is a national and international rural consultant and a partner in a cattle breeding and agro-forestry enterprise in north east Victoria. Ms Johnson has a social science background and is currently a Doctoral candidate and sessional lecturer at Monash University. Ms Johnson is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ms Johnson is past president of the Foundation for Australian Agricultural Women and a founding member of Australian Women in Agriculture. Ms Johnson was the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award Victorian Winner and National runner-up in 2010.

Dr Len Stephens (AICD, Dip Agr Sci, BVSc, MSc, PhD) is currently the Managing Director of the Seafood CRC. Dr Stephens has also been a Company Director for Dairy Australia (2007 - 2010) and was a Principal at Global Innovation Options Management Consultancy (2007). Mr Stephens served as Chairman of Australian Wool Exchange’s Industry Standards Advisory Committee (2007), was Chief Executive Officer of Australian Wool Innovation (2003 - 2006) and was a General Manager at Meat & Livestock Australia (1996 - 2003). 

Prof. Daniela Stehlik remains the RIRDC Board Chair. The four new RIRDC Board Directors join three re-appointed Directors - Mr Alexander Campbell AM, Ms Roseanne Healy and Dr Merilyn Sleigh.