Board members

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees—a group of graduates and friends of the University who bring a wide range of expertise and experience.

Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure all donated funds are correctly managed, invested, and disbursed.

Craig Stevens, Chair

Craig Stevens

Craig graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA (1976) and LLB (1977).

He was a litigations partner with DLA Phillips Fox for 28 years before joining Capital Chambers.

Craig undertakes a range of commercial, public law, regulatory, securities, trusts, resources, and environmental litigation and advice. He frequently appears in the High Court, Court of Appeal, and various Specialists Courts, Commissions, and Alternative Dispute Resolution fora.

He acts for a variety of public and private companies as well as local authorities and Crown entities.

Craig is the former Managing Partner of DLA Phillips Fox and for a number of years was a member of its New Zealand and subsequently Australasian Boards. He has also had various roles in community and professional organisations, including:

  • Chair of the Roseneath School Board of Trustees
  • an elected Executive Committee member of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand
  • a committee member of the Wellington branch of the Resource Management Law Association, and
  • for several years the honorary lawyer for Kapiti Environmental Action.

Since 1995 he has been a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society’s Litigation Skills Programme for young advocates.

Leo Lonergan, Deputy Chair

Leo Lonergan

Leo graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BSc in 1976 and a Supply Chain Management Certificate from Arizona State University in 2006. He completed executive leadership programs at Princeton University and the Aspen Institute and Finance at the Wharton Business School.

Leo returned to Wellington in 2013 after 30 years overseas with Chevron Corporation including executive assignments in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. He was appointed a Corporate Officer of Chevron in 2005 and most recently led Chevron’s worldwide procurement and supply chain organisations.

Previous roles include President, Joint Ventures & New Business Development, Chevron Asia Pacific; President, Manufacturing, Supply and Trading for Caltex Petroleum Corporation; Chairman and CEO Caltex Singapore; and Managing Director, Caltex Middle East.

Closer to home, Leo has served on the boards of New Zealand Refining Company, Caltex New Zealand, Caltex Australia, and has been active on school and community boards throughout his career.

Rick Christie

Rick is a professional Director and company Chairman with appointments in both the private and public sectors.

Rick is the Chairman of IKEgps Ltd, Service IQ, Solnet, and NeSI and is a Director of PowerHouse Ventures Ltd and Southport Ltd.

Previously he was Chairman of EBOS Group Ltd, AgResearch Ltd, Growth and Innovation Advisory Board, and Deputy Chairman of the Foundation for Research Science & Technology.

Rick graduated with a MSc(Hons) in Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington and is an Accredited Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, a Hunter Fellow of Victoria University of Wellington, and was made a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2010.

Rick was a Trustee with the Board of Trustees from February 1997 to December 2004 and held the office of Chair from 2000–2002.

Bernadette Courtney

Bernadette Courtney

Bernadette is an award-winning journalist and media communications professional. She has enjoyed a successful career in newspapers spanning over 30 years in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. In March 2018, she was appointed Editor in Chief-Newsrooms at Stuff, making her responsible for overseeing newsrooms across the country including the Sunday Star Times and Stuff’s political team.

Bernadette began her reporting career working for several London newspapers and national paper the Sunday Mirror. She was Deputy Group Editor for Reed Regional Newspapers in Surrey before emigrating to New Zealand. Bernadette became Chief Reporter of The Dominion in 1998 and Editor of The Dominion Post in 2009.

She is Immediate Past chair of the Fairfax Foundation, the Sydney-based charity established to support current and former staff members of Fairfax Media.

Bernadette has a CertBusiness Admin focused in Leadership from Auckland University and studied Leading Change and Organisational Renewal at Harvard University Business School.

Steve Fyfe

Stephen Fyfe

Steven graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BCA in 1974. As a chartered accountant he worked in New York, London, and Wellington before spending most of his executive career in banking.

Steven was Chief Financial Officer of the National Bank for eight years and was Deputy Chief Executive of ANZ National Bank. He currently holds several commercial and community governance positions, and is also a business consultant.

Professor Grant Guilford

Grant Guilford

Grant took up the role of Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington in March 2014. He was previously the Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Auckland and a member of its Senior Management Team. He has successfully led large and complex academic organisations, beginning with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University.

Grant holds Bachelor of Philosophy and Bachelor of Veterinary Science degrees from Massey University and a PhD in Nutrition from the University of California, Davis. Earlier in his career, he undertook teaching, research, clinical, and leadership roles at the University of Missouri, the University of California, Davis, and Massey University.

He has driven major capital works processes and participated in a wide range of commercialisation processes, and has been on the board of a number of companies, research consortia, joint ventures, centres of research excellence, and a Crown Research Institute.

Raphael Hilbron

Raphael Hilbron

Raphael is a General Manager and Partner at SenateSHJ—a leading communications consultancy in Australasia. He heads up the firm’s Wellington office and its energy and resources practice.

An internationally recognised communications practitioner, Raphael helps clients to successfully manage their reputations.

Before joining SenateSHJ as an Associate Partner in 2008, Raphael was head of corporate responsibility at Vodafone New Zealand, and was seconded to Vodafone’s global business in the UK for two years.

A former journalist, Raphael worked for The Dominion newspaper and in various public sector roles before moving into politics where he worked as a press secretary in former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley's office.

Raphael holds Law and Arts degrees from Victoria University of Wellington (1994) and a New Zealand Certificate in Journalism from Auckland Institute of Technology (1989).

Brent Manning

Brent Manning

Brent is a partner with KPMG. He started his professional career with KPMG in 1994 and was seconded to KPMG’s London office from 1997 to 2000.

Brent rejoined KPMG Wellington in 2000 and was promoted to partner in 2006. He graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BA in 1993 and a BCA in 1994.

Brent is Chair of the Foundation’s Finance and Risk Committee.

Neil Paviour-Smith, BCA Well, CA ACIS FCFIP MSAA, AFA

Neil Paviour-Smith is Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington. He is the Managing Director of Forsyth Barr and was an inaugural recipient of a Sir Peter Blake Trust Leadership Award in 2005. Neil is a director of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Finance Professionals NZ, and has been Chair of the NZ Society of Investment Analysts. He is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), the Institute of Directors, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries NZ, the CFA Institute, and is an accredited Master Stockbroker of the Stockbrokers Association of Australia.

Neil is from Wellington and an alumni of Victoria University of Wellington. He was elected as Chancellor from 1 January 2018.

Kerry Prendergast, CNZM

Kerry Prendergast

Kerry has had a long and successful life in politics. She was first elected as a Councillor in 1986, spent six years as Deputy Mayor of Wellington, and in 2001 was elected Mayor of Wellington, a position she held for three terms until 2010.

During that time she took a great interest in promoting the interests of Wellington’s tourism and commercial businesses. Before her mayoralty she was an independent midwife for 25 years, having originally trained as a nurse.

Kerry gained an MBA from Victoria University of Wellington in 2003, during her mayoralty. She is a Victoria University of Wellington Distinguished Alumni and was awarded a CNZM in 2011 for her services to local government.

Kerry is currently Chair of the Environmental Protection Authority, the New Zealand Tourism Board, the New Zealand Arts Festival, the Wellington Jazz Music Festival Trust, and the New Zealand Endangered Species Foundation.

She is a member of several other boards, including the publicly listed Kirkcaldie and Stains, WorkSafe New Zealand, the QEII Army Memorial Museum, and Deputy Chair of Wellington Free Ambulance. She is also a Trustee of the New Zealand Community Trust and Motu Foundation, and on the advisory boards of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Office of the Auditor General, and the Wellington Phoenix Football Club. She is a past member of the Advisory Board for Victoria University of Wellington MBA programme, and is a patron of various charitable organisations.

Dr Farib Sos, MNZM

Farib Sos

Farib has substantial educational and business experience in both the private and public sectors in sectors ranging from energy and resources to health and the environment.

He has been a senior academic staff member at the Open Polytechnic and Whitireia Community Polytechnic. He has also served as a member of several government and non-government committees and other groups with an interest in South-East Asia. He currently holds a number of roles in the community including:

  • immediate past chair of Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)
  • Trustee and Director of the Asia Pacific Research Institute of New Zealand
  • Council Member of the ASEAN-New Zealand Business Council (with special responsibility to chair the Cambodian Chapter), and
  • Executive Member of the NZ-Indonesian Council.

Farib is a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Council.

Sir Maarten Wevers, KNZM

Maarten Wevers

Sir Maarten was appointed Chair of the EQC Board in August 2013 and served as Chief Executive of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2004 until 2012. He was formerly Ambassador to Japan and High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

Sir Maarten is a member of the Audit Committee of the Ministry of Social Development, a trustee of the Fred Hollows Foundation and the National Army Museum, a member of the Ministry of Primary Industries Investment Advisory Panel for the Primary Growth Partnership, and the Registrar of Pecuniary and other Specified Interests of Members of Parliament.

Sir Maarten graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a BSc and BA(Hons) in Economics.