Our People

Board of Directors

Members of the Board are appointed for three years by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in consultation with the Board Chair. This period may be extended by the Minister for up to a further three years.
Members are collectively accountable to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the performance of Antarctica New Zealand. All delegated functions and powers within Antarctica New Zealand arise from the Board's delegations. The Board’s role is governance.

Senior Leadership Team

Our people and our culture drive the success of Antarctica New Zealand, and that hasn’t changed over the past 60 years. Our vision and values also form an integral part of how we go about our business. The Antarctica New Zealand Senior Leadership Team sets, evaluates, and aligns the strategic direction of Antarctica New Zealand within the organisation.


Sarah Williamson - Chief Executive

Sarah joined Antarctica New Zealand in June 2019 following a long career with Air New Zealand in a range of roles.

Sarah’s most recent role was Group General Manager Airline Operations and Regional Airlines. She has experience in sales, customer services, operations, human resources and the banking industry.

With a Masters in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography and Psychology Sarah has always been impressed with the work Antarctica New Zealand does to support science in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

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Peter Smith - General Manager, Corporate Services and Strategy

Peter has led the Corporate Services team since joining Antarctica New Zealand in December 2003.
Peter is a Chartered Accountant who has undertaken a variety of senior finance roles in the Profession, in business and most recently in the public sector. He has managed corporate services teams for over 20 years and enjoys the variety this brings.
Peter has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the UK but considers the highlight to be the short times he's spent working in Antarctica!

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Simon Trotter - General Manager, Antarctic Operations

Simon has been involved with the Antarctic field operations, planning and science support for over ten years. Simon joined Antarctica New Zealand to lead the Field Training Team before moving into the area of operations planning and of science support. Simon has interests in Search and Rescue and represents Antarctica New Zealand on the NZ SAR Consultative Committee and at COMNAP as part of the Safety Advisory Group. As GM Antarctic Operations, Simon is passionate about the relationships between other National Antarctic Programmes, the team environment within the organisation and supporting the customers of Antarctic New Zealand.

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Trudie Baker - General Manager- People Performance

Trudie has been with Antarctica New Zealand since 2010. Her career began in Science and has evolved through the outdoors industry with a focus on Safety Systems, Operations Management and Training & Development.

Trudie's role on ice is the Base Services Supervisor; overseeing the provision of Hospitality Services and wellbeing functions.

Back in Christchurch Trudie is responsible for our People and Performance functions, including our People Systems, Project Portfolio Management and ensuring that we continue to deliver the highest quality products and services.


Megan Nicholl - General Manager- Communications

Megan leads a passionate team of communications professionals who are focused on celebrating and promoting Antarctic science and the logistical support that makes it all possible.

Megan was a journalist for 20 years, 13 of that with TVNZ, before moving into corporate communications.

She oversees Antarctica New Zealand’s Community Engagement Programme which takes media, educators, artists and writers to the Ice to help tell our Antarctic story.

Megan has travelled and lived around the world, but Te Tiri o te Moana (Antarctica) holds a special place in her heart as the last great wilderness on earth.


Fiona Shanhun - Acting Chief Scientific Advisor

Fiona has been involved in Antarctic research for over 14 years and has led field expeditions with both the New Zealand and Australian programmes. Her PhD focused on Antarctic Dry Valley soils and she joined Antarctica New Zealand in 2014. Fiona now leads the science team, supporting the delivery of world-class research and the communication of research findings. She is a former Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research fellow and leads New Zealand’s annual Ross Sea Adélie penguin census which began in the early 1980s.

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Matt Johnson - General Manager, Engineering

Matt is an experienced engineer and project manager with a career spanning diverse business sectors around the world, including delivery of major programmes with BAE SYSTEMS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company and the London Underground. Matt joined Antarctica New Zealand in November 2016. As the General Manager for Engineering he leads the team to ensure that assets, equipment and facilities meet the needs of science, field and support staff. At a strategic level, he develops the vision to ensure that the Engineering team are able to continue to support the emerging needs of the science programme conducted from Scott Base in the future.