Dr Tony Willis, Executive General Manager

Dr Tony Willis is the Australian Research Council’s Executive General Manager. He plays a key senior leadership role in the organisation, in support of the CEO.

Dr Willis completed a PhD in biology at the Australian National University in 1994, before moving to Imperial College, London, to continue research as a post doctoral fellow. On returning to Australia, he worked as a research scientist at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s Division of Plant Industry.

Dr Willis’s research background complements experience in strategic policy, program delivery, administrative and regulatory roles across diverse Australian Government agencies.  On leaving CSIRO, he joined the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator where he provided technical and regulatory advice on genetically modified organisms. He moved to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where he had policy responsibility for several multilateral arms control treaties, particularly the Biological Weapons Convention, and for related international counter-bioterrorism chemical terrorism policy. At the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, he continued to develop and provide strategic policy advice on counter-terrorism issues, including on chemical, biological and nuclear security threats.

Prior to joining the ARC in 2019, Dr Willis held several senior positions at the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Image credit: NHMRC