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Dr Mary Kelly

Headshot of Mary Kelly
Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology

Dr Mary Kelly joined the ARC in February 2020 as Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology. 

Prior to this, Dr Kelly has served as an Adjunct Executive Director for the ARC. In 2019 Dr Kelly was inaugural Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology, a joint initiative of the Australian National University and the CSIRO, and from 2015 to 2018 Dr Kelly was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Development and Industry at Charles Sturt University. 

Dr Kelly’s research background is grounded in biochemistry and microbiology with a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Georgia where she was a Fulbright Scholar, followed by a Conway Research Fellowship and Health Research Board Research Fellowship at University College Dublin. Over the last two decades Dr Kelly has established her career in research, research management and senior executive management both in Ireland and Australia.

Driven by a constant desire to contribute to an ecosystem that can maximise the potential for research impact, the return on research investment and the establishment of high-achieving research career pathways, Dr Kelly has worked in multiple sectors: within the Higher Education sector in both research and innovation roles; within the Not-For-Profit sector at the Australian-American Fulbright Commission; and, within the Australian Public Service while at the ARC from 2009 to 2014. 

Mentorship, collaboration and diversity of roles has underpinned Dr Kelly’s career to date. Experience gained on international assessment panels, with Boards, as a Graduate of the AICD, with start-ups and regional communities, and within Australia’s food and agriculture ecosystem, are just some of the perspectives which she now brings to the role of Executive Director.  

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