Jenn Bestwick has been appointed chairwoman of the Resilience Challenge Governance Group that is linked to GNS Science.
Dr Richard Smith fills a newly established role as deputy director.
With a background in business and management consulting, Ms Bestwick is a lead reviewer with the States Services Commission Performance Improvement Framework.
She has worked with a number of organisations in the science and research sector, having led MBIE’s review of CRI core funding, been on a number of panels reviewing performance of MBIE science investments, and been involved in the establishment of Callaghan Innovation.
Ms Bestwick also spent a number of years with Ngāi Tahu including in a role as general manager-strategy and planning for Ngāi Tahu Holdings Group - the commercial arm of the iwi's operations.
Having lived in Christchurch through the Canterbury Earthquakes, Ms Bestwick has been involved in a range of guises in the response and recovery of Christchurch. This experience has not only given her valuable insights into the impact of natural disasters on communities and the environment, but also strengthened her commitment to increasing their resilience.
Ms Bestwick replaces Mr Ian Fraser who has chaired the Resilience Challenge Governance Group since its inception in 2015.
In his capacity as deputy director Dr Smith will work alongside Professor Shane Cronin, Resilience to Nature’s Challenges director, and be based at GNS Science.
Dr Smith will fill the role of director for the Challenge’s second phase of research, which begins in July 2019. He comes to the Challenge from the New Zealand Earthquake Commission (EQC) where he was research strategy and investment manager.