CSIRO has appointed professor Doug Hilton as chief executive, commencing 29 September. The appointment follows eight years served by Dr Larry Marshall, who completes his third and final term as chief executive in June 2023.
Hilton is a a molecular and cellular biologist and director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI).
Throughout his period as director of WEHI, Hilton and his team hold more than 20 patents and have translated their research through collaboration with venture capitalists and the biopharmaceutical industry.
On announcing the appointment of Hilton, chair of the CSIRO board, Kathryn Fagg said Hilton would be a great asset to CSIRO, as the agency strives to solve great challenges.
“Doug is a much-respected researcher, leader and communicator of the better outcomes science can deliver. His fourteen years leading WEHI have been exemplified by his passion for research, mentoring and supporting young researchers, building the infrastructure to support the creativity of researchers and a dedication to translating research to improve the lives of Australians.
“Beyond research, Doug has emphasised the importance of strong institutional cultures, and furthered diversity in science. A member of the Champion of Change Coalition and a board member of Australians Investing in Women, he has led initiatives to boost gender equality and diversity, and address better representation of women in senior roles in the Australian medical research sector,” said Fagg.
Commenting on his appointment, Hilton said: “CSIRO is a unique national treasure, there to deliver science for the benefit of the community. After leading WEHI where our staff and students strive to help people live healthier for longer, at CSIRO I know that same sentiment will be there and that’s incredibly important to me. I’m looking forward to meeting the researchers and those that support and enable them, and to hearing about the science.”
Kathryn Fagg also thanked Marshall as outgoing chief executive for his leadership, which since 2016 has seen CSIRO invest $425m in Horizon 3 future research, identify six National Challenges to focus on solving, launch Missions to tackle big, seemingly impossible problems and play a key role in the global response to COVID-19.
Kirsten Rose, CSIRO’s executive director future industries has been appointed acting chief executive from 1 July.