Senior Management Team

David Hughes - Group General Manager CommercialDavid Hughes

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

David Hughes studied at Massey University, NZ, gaining both a BTech (Manufacturing) 1st Class Hons and a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Statistics. Mr Hughes, as CEO, oversees all aspects of the organisation's operation and represents the Institute on a number of Boards and committees.

Mr Hughes joined Plant & Food Research in July 2009 as Group General Manager Commercial, and was appointed CEO in February 2018. He has a successful track record of business development and innovation within the food sector, including several high-profile roles within the dairy industry in New Zealand, Australia, USA, Japan and Bahrain. 

Bruce Campbell - Chief Operating Officer (COO)Dr Bruce Campbell

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Dr Bruce Campbell holds a PhD in Plant Sciences from the University of Sheffield, UK, and has research interests in biotechnology, genetics, sustainability and climate change. As Chief Operating Officer, Dr Campbell is responsible for the science staff within Plant & Food Research and for providing effective leadership of company strategy, operational excellence and productivity, business growth, capital investments, regulatory compliance and enhancing relationships with Maori.

Dr Campbell is a member of The Royal Society of New Zealand, Institute of Directors in New Zealand and of the International Society of Horticultural Science, and is a director on several Boards; Horticulture NZ Vegetable Research and Innovation Board; National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection Technologies; and Kiwifruit Supply Research Limited. In 2016, he was awarded the Thomson medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the horticultural and agricultural sciences.

Dr Richard Newcomb - Chief ScientistDr Richard Newcomb

Chief Scientist

Richard Newcomb completed his BSc and MSc in Zoology at the University of Auckland, followed with a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Australian National University based at the CSIRO in Canberra. He has broad research interests focused on the biology, genetics and evolution of odour sensing in animals, is a co-author on over 80 publications and an inventor on five patents.

Dr Newcomb is associate editor for the Journal of Chemical Ecology and PLoS ONE and on the editorial boards of Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemical Senses and Flavour, and is a regular reviewer for a number of other international scientific journals and granting agencies. He is currently President of the Australasian Association for ChemoSensory Science, New Zealand’s representative on committee at the Genetics Society of Australasia and is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Auckland. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Evolution and Ecology and an Associate Investigator at the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery.

Michael James - Chief Financial Officer (CFO)Michael James

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Michael James provides leadership in strategy development, organisational performance, risk management and investment. He has extensive senior management experience in innovative companies with scale and global reach and is a Chartered Accountant of Australia and New Zealand and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. Michael's past positions include CFO at Navman, a global provider of GPS-based navigation products.

Craig Jensen - General Manager Human ResourcesCraig Jensen

General Manager Human Resources

Craig Jensen, as General Manager Human Resources, is responsible for Plant & Food Research’s people-related activities including organisational and workforce development, recruitment, employment relations, remuneration and health & safety. He has a strong interest in the relationship between employee engagement, leadership and organisational culture and performance.

Mr Jensen has extensive experience in human resource management within the New Zealand science sector, and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel and Employment Relations from the University of Auckland.

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