CSIRO’s Board is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the organisation.

About the Board

On 6 August 2015, Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, announced David Thodey would take up a five-year appointment as Chairman of the Board from 15 October 2015. David shared his thoughts on taking up the role on the CSIRO Blog.

The Board is responsible to the Australian Government for the overall strategy, governance and performance of CSIRO. Under the Science and Industry Research Act 1949, the primary functions of the Board are to:

  • ensure the proper and efficient performance of the functions of the Organisation
  • determine the policy of the Organisation with respect to any matter
  • give directions to the Chief Executive.

The Board meets at least quarterly and comprises a non-executive Chairman, up to eight other non-executive Members and a full-time Chief Executive.

All Board members (other than the Chief Executive) are appointed by the Governor-General. The Chief Executive is appointed by the Board.

The Board operates in part through two standing committees:

  • The Board People, Health and Safety Committee, which assists the Board to fulfill its governance responsibilities in relation to organizational development, people related activities and health and safety.
  • The Board Audit and Risk Committee, which assists CSIRO and its Board in the areas of financial management, risk management, internal control and compliance.

Chairman and members of the Board

  • David Thodey AO

    Board Chairman

    David Thodey is a global business leader focused on innovation, digital and telecommunications with more than 30 years of experience creating brand and shareholder value. He is Chair of Tyro Payments Ltd and Xero; Deputy Chair of the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission; and an Independent Non-Executive of Ramsay Health Care.

    He also had a successful career as CEO of Telstra, Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company and also CEO of IBM Australia and New Zealand.

    Mr Thodey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, attended the Kellogg School of Management postgraduate General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science and Technology from Deakin University in 2016 and an Honorary Doctorate of Business from University of Technology Sydney in 2018 .
    Term of appointment: 15.10.15 to 14.10.20; 15.10.20 to 14.10.21.

  • Larry Marshall View profile External link

    Chief Executive - EXECUTIVE

    Dr Larry Marshall was born in Sydney and has a PhD in physics from Macquarie University, NSW, completing part of it while studying at Stanford University in the US. He is a scientist, technology innovator and business leader with more than 25 years’ experience in creating new value and impact with science. Dr Marshall has more than 100 peer reviewed publications and conference papers, holds 20 patents, has founded six successful United States companies in biotechnology, photonics, telecommunications and semiconductors, and has served on 20 boards of high-tech companies operating in the US, Australia and China. He is a member of Accelerating R&D in NSW Advisory Committee (ARDAC) and ex-officio member of National Science and Technology Council
    Term of appointment: 01.01.15 to 31.12.16; 01.01.17 to 30.06.20; 01.07.20 to 30.06.23.

  • Peter Riddles AM FRSA FAICD PhD

    CSIRO Board Member, Chair of Board Science Excellence Committee

    Dr Riddles began his career as a research scientist in molecular biology in the public sector holding positions at the University of Queensland, Stanford University and the CSIRO. He has made a life-long commitment to the practice of science and using scientific-innovation for generating economic and social benefit. He has provided leadership to diverse organisations including biotechnology start-up companies, industry organisations, and University Commercial Offices. His current priorities include working with entrepreneurs in enterprise creation and maintaining an interest in innovation policy and practice. He is a Member of Chatham House (UK) and a Fellow of the California Technology Council (CA, USA). He also chairs the Experimental Development Program for the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF). and is a Board Director of The Hear and Say Centre for Deaf Children (Brisbane, Australia).
    Term of appointment: 24.04.14 to 23.04.17; 24.04.17 to 23.04.22

  • Edwina Cornish AO

    CSIRO Board Member

    Professor Edwina Cornish AO brings vast experience in the interface between government, research, science and the higher education sector, and is an experienced board member with strong business, industry and financial skills. Professor Cornish played a key role in building one of Australia’s first biotechnology companies, Florigene Limited, which developed and successfully commercialised the world’s first genetically modified flowers under her leadership. Professor Cornish is a Member of the Council of La Trobe University and was previously Provost and Senior Vice-President of Monash University. In 2014 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, in part for her advances in biotechnology and horticultural genetic modification.
    Term of appointment: 26.11.15 to 25.11.20; 26.11.20 to 25.11.23.

  • Tanya Monro

    CSIRO Board Member

    Professor Tanya Monro is the Chief Defence Scientist, appointed in March 2019.

    Professor Monro was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation and an ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia.

    Professor Monro was the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014 and was also the inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide. Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.

    Professor Monro obtained her PhD in physics in 1998 from The University of Sydney, for which she was awarded the Bragg Gold Medal for the best Physics PhD in Australia. In 2000, she received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton in the UK, and is also an inaugural Bragg Fellow of the Royal Institution of Australia (RiAus).

    Professor Monro is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics. She is a member of the SA Premier’s Economic Advisory Council and Science Patron of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF).

    Her awards include: the Prime Minister's Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year (2008), South Australian Scientist of the Year (2010), South Australia's Australian of the Year (2011), and the Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research (2015).

    Term of appointment: 25.02.16 to 24.02.21.

  • Michele Allan

    CSIRO Board Member

    Dr Michele Allan is a food industry and agribusiness specialist who has held senior executive and director positions in the food and education sectors and has an academic background in biomedical science, management and law. Dr Allan is the current Chair of the Board of Meat and Livestock Australia, Charles Sturt University, Apple and Pear Australia and Defence CRC for Trusted Autonomous Systems. Her current board positions include Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, Grain Growers Limited, Nuffield Australia, Wine Australia, MJCP Holdings Pty Ltd and Dairy Food Safety Victoria. Dr Allan has a Bachelor of Applied Science Major – Biomedical Science – Cytology from University Technology Sydney, Master of Management (Technology) from the University of Melbourne, Doctor of Business Administration from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and a Master of Commercial Law from Deakin University. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
    Term of appointment: 05.05.16 to 04.05.19; 05.05.19 to 04.05.24

  • David Knox

    CSIRO Board Member, Chair of Board People and Safety Committee

    David Knox is currently MD and CEO of Australian Naval Infrastructure. He was previously Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Santos Limited from 2008 -2015 and Managing Director for BP Developments in Australasia from 2003 to 2007. He has worked for BP in the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and has held management and engineering positions at ARCO and Shell in the USA, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Norway. David is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland and has a BSc Hons in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. He is a fellow of ATSE, and FIEAust and a graduate of the AICD. David is a Director of Migration Council Australia, Redflow and a Member of the Royal Institution of Australia Council. David also sits on the board of the Adelaide Festival and is Chair of i3 Energy and The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TASCI).
    Term of appointment: 05.05.16 to 04.05.19; 05.05.19 to 04.05.24

  • Drew Clarke AO PSM FTSE

    CSIRO Board Member

    Mr Clarke has served for more than 20 years in senior roles in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, and Secretary of the Department of Communications. His last executive role was as Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister. In 2009 Mr Clarke was awarded a Public Service Medal for his energy policy work, and in 2016 was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration. He brings a valuable mix of skills to the CSIRO Board with his background in applied science, public policy and government administration. He has a Master of Science from The Ohio State University and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Mr Clarke is Chairman of the Australian Energy Market Operator Board and a director on the NBNCo Board. He has been an ex officio member of the Industry Research and Development Board (as Executive General Manager of AusIndustry), Chair of ANZLIC - the Spatial Information Council, Chair of the COAG Energy Council Standing Committee of Officials, a Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information and a member of the International Energy Agency Governing Board. Term of appointment: 24.08.17 to 23.08.22

  • Kathryn Fagg

    Deputy Board Chair, Chair of Board Audit and Risk Committee

    Ms Kathryn Fagg is an experienced senior executive and former engineer. Ms Fagg was appointed to the CSIRO Board for a five-year term on 2 August 2018. Ms Fagg was appointed Deputy Chair on 17 September 2020. A highly experienced board member and Chair, Ms Fagg is the non-executive Chair of Boral and a non-executive Director of Note Printing Australia, Djerriwarrh Investments, Incitec Pivot and Myer Foundation Board. She is the Chair of the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Breast Cancer Network Australia and was formerly a Reserve Bank Board member and former President of Chief Executive Women. Ms Fagg has held senior executive roles in logistics, manufacturing, resources, banking and professional services, including with Linfox, BlueScope Steel and the ANZ Banking Group. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) from the University of Queensland and a Master of Commerce (Honours) from the University of New South Wales. In 2017 she was awarded the Ada Lovelace Medal for Outstanding Woman Engineer by the University of New South Wales.
    Term of appointment: 02.08.18 to 01.08.23; 17.09.20 to 16.09.25

  • Michelle Simmons

    CSIRO Board Member

    Term of appointment: 17.09.20 to 16.09.25. Commencement date TBC.

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