Board Members


Pat WalshPat Walsh


Emeritus Professor Pat Walsh has 17 years’ experience in leadership and governance roles. In February 2014, he stepped down as Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington.

Professor Walsh was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 2005 and re-appointed to a second term in 2009. His roles prior to this appointment were as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Victoria Business School and Head of the School of Management. In his academic career, he was Professor of Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and Director of Victoria’s Industrial Relations Centre.

He has been a Board Member of the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Committee on University Academic Programmes and a member and then Chair of Universities New Zealand.

Professor Walsh is currently Chair of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Advisory Committee on Centres of Research Excellence, Chair of the New Zealand Indonesia Council and a member of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Audit and Risk Committee.

He has an MA from the University of Canterbury and PhD from the University of Minnesota.


Jan Thomas

Professor Jan Thomas commenced as Vice Chancellor of Massey University in January 2017.  From 2012 Jan served as Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.  Prior to that, she held various senior executive positions at Murdoch University and the University of Notre Dame Australia from 2003.

Professor Thomas has a PhD in Veterinary Science from Murdoch University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute for Company Directors. She has received numerous awards for her leadership in education. 

Professor Thomas currently holds the position of Chair for the Managing Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities based in London and is a member of the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Council



Robin PollardRobin Pollard

Christchurch born, Robin trained at the University of Canterbury NZ as a condensed matter physicist. He specialised in magnetism at low temperatures and with high magnetic fields, including in disordered alloys, fine particles, iron oxides and hydroxides, and in transition metal chalcogenides and di-halides.

Robin held research positions at the University of Liverpool UK, University of Manitoba Canada and at the University of California San Diego as physicist and research chemist.  He has also held academic positions in marketing and information technology.

From 29 Feb 2016 - Vice-Chancellor, Lincoln University, NZ

2014- 2016 - Group VP and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Central Lancashire

  • This university is the UK’s seventh largest;
  • Responsible for international, corporate strategy and research;
  • Managed campus aspirations in Cyprus, Mauritius, Hebei-China, Thailand;
  • Strategic planning to improve the university’s league table ranking;
  • Participated in UK QAA quality audits.

2013-2014 - Academic Vice-President, Monash University, Melbourne

  • Transitioned a regional campus from Monash to create Federation University Australia with the University of Ballarat;
  • Interfaced a Monash campus in Johannesburg to majority ownership with Laureate International Universities;
  • Academic lead for online postgraduate courses in partnership with Pearson;

2007-2012 - Chief Executive, Monash University Sunway campus, Malaysia

2004-2007 - Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of New England, NSW


John Hay

Dr John Hay began his career as a pasture agronomist at DSIR Grasslands, which in 1992 became part of AgResearch. In 1999, he finished at AgResearch’s Grasslands Division as General Manager, after 29 years with the institute. He was then Chief Executive of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) for 11 years. Currently, John chairs several boards including the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment’s Science Board, Grasslanz Technology Ltd, Bio-Protection Research Centre and Motu Public Policy Research Group. He is also a board member of the World Wildlife Fund New Zealand.

In 2006, John was awarded the New Zealand Royal Society’s Thomson Medal for outstanding and inspirational leadership in the management of science. He is currently Managing Director of Dr John Hay & Associates and consults on science policy, business strategy, research and management. 


Cathy Magiannis

Cathy joins the Board following her appointment to Massey University as Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Strategy, Finance, Information Technology and Commercial Operations at the end of June 2015.

Prior to joining Massey, Cathy was with the Ministry of Education as Deputy Secretary, Education Payroll Services, and Chief Executive of Education Payroll Limited.  As Deputy Secretary of Education Payroll Services Cathy helped resolve the issues in delivery of payroll services and led the transition of the Novopay service to Education Payroll Limited. Cathy then took on the role of Chief Executive of Education Payroll Limited where she oversaw an intensive work programme to build on the improvements that had already been made to the schools’ payroll system and service.

Cathy’s experience spans both the public and private sectors.  She is a highly experienced leader and operational manager with proven programme delivery expertise. Prior to joining EPL and the Ministry, Cathy was the Chief Executive of Gareth Morgan Investments Group. Before that, Cathy held a number of senior management roles at Inland Revenue including Programme Director of KiwiSaver where she led the implementation of the Government’s KiwiSaver initiative across a number of government agencies.


Ross Buckley

Ross is the Executive Chairman of KPMG New Zealand and represents KPMG New Zealand on KPMG’s Global Council and KPMG’s ASPAC Board.

Ross serves, or has served as a lead partner on a number of important KPMG clients based in a range of sectors including agriculture, banking and finance, infrastructure, manufacturing and construction.

Ross joined KPMG in 1983 and has worked overseas for five years in continental Europe and North America. During his career with KPMG, Ross has managed the firm’s Audit and Tax practices in addition to the firm’s People, Performance and Culture function.

Ross is married to Irma and father to triplets Zachary, Michaela and Jordan. In his free time, Ross is active in the sports pursuits of his children and when time permits he enjoys cycling and running.