John is a marine scientist with over 35 years’ experience conducting, leading, translating and communicating science, focussed on conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystems and resources. In addition to his GBRF role, he serves as Chair of the Boards of the Marine Bioproducts Cooperative Research Centre and Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System. As Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (2011-2017); Chief Scientist of the Australian Antarctic Program and Senior Executive in the Australian Government (2008-2011); and Deputy Chief of CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research Division (2003-2008), he lead development of national and global science strategies, major research programs, science capability (people, research infrastructure and partnerships), and stakeholder engagement across research portfolios encompassing marine ecology, fisheries, coastal systems, physical and chemical oceanography, atmospheric chemistry and climate science.
John is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and for over 25 years, as a trusted advisor to ministers, governments and industry, has held Board positions and high level advisory roles on the Great Barrier Reef, national and global fisheries, Antarctic research and National Science and Technology policy. From 2011-2016 he was Chair of the National Marine Science Committee and in that capacity was instrumental in developing the “National Marine Science Plan 2015-25 : Driving the development of Australia’s blue economy.”