Meet our Executive Leadership Team

Published Apr 13, 2022

Our Executive Leadership team provides strategic leadership Wellington UniVentures. Over the last few months, we’ve welcomed new expertise and experience, as we introduce new functional roles to manage three specialist areas: health and wellbeing, social and creative, and environment and engineering.

As we continue to grow, these new roles will manage our specialist teams focusing on commercialisation and commissioned research opportunities.

Our existing marketing and engagement team has also been strengthened by a new dedicated operations role, which will provide the process and reporting knowhow and systems to underpin the delivery of our work.

Let’s meet the team.

Janice Cheng, Head of Health & Wellbeing

Janice has been part of the Wellington UniVentures team since 2018 originally joining the team as a Senior Commercialisation Manager. Janice has developed strong relationships with researchers during her time here and has a comprehensive background working across the health and wellbeing sector. In her new role as Head of Health & Wellbeing, Janice will lead the commercialisation and business development team spanning areas including biotechnology, synthetic biology and chemistry, digital health and health psychology.

Kathleen Wright, Head of Social & Creative

Kathleen joined us in February as our new Head of Social & Creative. Kathleen manages the team who work with innovators in the creative fields as they research and develop their ideas aligned with hauora principles of emotional and social wellbeing. Kathleen engages with those at Te Herenga Waka in the faculties of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Design and Innovation, Law and the Wellington School of Business and Government. More broadly, Kathleen and the team are responsible for creating and managing the portfolio of projects around social sciences and social enterprise.

Rhyan Wardman, Head of Environment & Engineering

Rhyan started in March as our Head of Environment & Engineering and is responsible for identifying research commercialisation activity related to climate change, carbon zero and future energy goals and sustainable manufacturing at Te Herenga Waka. Rhyan manages a team who work across the schools of Biological Sciences, Chemical and Physical Sciences, Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Engineering and the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute.

In addition to these three roles we also have our Head of Operations and Head of People & Engagement.

Pierre Malou, Head of Operations

Pierre is our most recent recruit. Pierre is responsible for maintaining and driving the operational results within Wellington UniVentures. He works closely with our CEO to maintain key operational procedures, create new processes when required, ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly and supports the finance team.

Beckie Duffy, Head of People & Engagement

Like Janice, Beckie has been part of the team for a number of years. Beckie started with us as our Marketing and Communications Manager and was recently promoted to Head of People & Engagement. In this role, Beckie looks after the people functions of the business, as well as our marketing, communications and engagement. She is responsible for developing Wellington UniVentures' people experience and enhancing the experience of those that we work with.

The team is lead by our CEO, Anne.

Anne Barnett, CEO

Anne has been CEO of Wellington UniVentures since 2018 and had been working as General Manager of Commercialisation with us before this, where she grew the IP and commercialisation team to the team it is today. Anne is responsible for delivering the organisation’s strategic plan which aims to achieve economic and social impact from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s publicly funded research endeavours.