Judith Zielke PSM, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Judith Zielke commenced as Chief Executive Officer at the ARC on 1 February 2022. She brings a passion for research and innovation, especially the process of taking an idea into a practical outcome for Australia. 

She is also Chief Operating Officer, CSIRO the national research agency, where her responsibilities include oversight of the operations of the organisation with specific focus on governance, corporate affairs, finance and infrastructure and major investments.

Ms Zielke has had a lengthy public sector career encompassing a range of policy advice and implementation positions in the Australian Government in the industry and innovation, infrastructure, trade and Attorney General’s portfolios.

Ms Zielke brings more than four decades of experience supporting the Australian research and innovation sector to the role. Her career has included: Deputy Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, overseeing national transport regulation and infrastructure investment; Executive Director of the Surface Transport Policy Division within the Department of Infrastructure, which contributed to the wellbeing of all Australians by developing and implementing national reforms in surface transport policy and regulation (maritime, shipping, rail and road transport reforms); and Head of the Enterprise Connect Division in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, responsible for policies and programs aimed at improving productivity, global competitiveness and market access through business development, innovation advice and advocacy, trade and customs policy and support for technical infrastructure.  

Ms Zielke was also previously a Board Member of several organisations including: the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ). 

As CEO, Ms Zielke leads the ARC in line with the requirements of the Australian Research Council Act 2001, Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013,  and Public Service Act 1999: making recommendations to the responsible Minister in relation to which research applications should be approved for funding through the funding schemes of the National Competitive Grants Program; administering financial assistance approved by the Minister for research programs; and providing advice to the Minister on research matters. Ms Zielke also has responsibility for two federal assessments of research within universities, Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and Engagement and Impact (EI).