The Hillary Institute and Edmund Hillary Fellowship are farewelling the Chair of their Board of Trustees, Paul Atkins,
as he steps down to take on the role of Chief Executive at the Royal Society Te Apārangi.
Paul Atkins has served as Chair of the Hillary Institute and Edmund Hillary Fellowship since January 2021. He is also
currently the CEO of Zealandia and Chair of the MacDiarmid Institute of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. He will
be stepping down from all of these roles before he joins the Royal Society in November 2021.
Founding Director of the Hillary Institute, Mark Prain, says that while Atkins' expertise will be greatly missed, he is
excited to see what his time at the Royal Society will bring to the science, technology and humanities sector for
“Losing Paul quite so early in his tenure with us wasn’t in anyone’s plan, but he has done essential and highly
significant mahi in the leadership transition we have undertaken over 2021 to frame our next chapters. Te Apārangi will
be very well served and we warmly wish Paul well in this flagship role,” says Prain.
Paul is a highly respected member of the business community in Wellington and has extensive experience in senior
executive leadership and board roles in the
governmental, not-for-profit and commercial sectors, particularly in areas of science and conservation.
Chief Executive Officer of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, Rosalie Nelson, says that Atkins' wealth of leadership and
governance experience has made a huge impact within a short time, helping to both unite the Hillary Institute and Edmund
Hillary Fellowship and provide hands-on support to the team managing the challenges of a post-COVID reality.
”Paul is one of those rare leaders who combines great skill with true humility and attitude to service. His generosity
of time and advice has been critical to me as a new CEO, and the team, as we work to redefine the role of the Fellowship
going forward. His leadership through transition has set us up well to decide the leadership and governance needed for
this next chapter. I am personally going to greatly miss his support and guidance but I am also excited for his new
role, and the potential it has for Aotearoa,” says Nelson.
Paul has previously served as Chair of Mevo which was New Zealand’s first electric car share company, as Managing
Director and Chair of nanomaterials company Boutiq Sciences, as Inaugural Chair of the New Zealand Smart Grid Forum, and
as a founding Director of the biomedical device company Ferronova.
Paul says it has been a great privilege to be part of the Hillary Institute and Edmund Hillary Fellowship, albeit rather
more briefly than he had expected.
“Both organisations have amazing leadership and I am very excited by where this will take them in the coming years. I
look forward to remaining in close contact,” says Atkins.
The Hillary Institute and Edmund Hillary Fellowship are actively working through a shortlist of strong candidates for
the new Chair role.