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New CEO of the Australian Research Council

New CEO of the Australian Research Council

Australian Government emblem

Minister for Education and Training
Senator for South Australia


26 April 2017

New CEO of the Australian Research Council

Professor Sue Thomas has been appointed to serve as the new CEO of the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said Professor Thomas would play an important role in shaping the future of Australian research and delivering on the Turnbull Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

“I’m pleased that after an extensive search we have been able to find some of the best talent suited for the role right here in Australia,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“Professor Thomas will be focused on ensuring Australia remains at the cutting-edge of research, innovation and global competiveness, drawing on her distinguished career experiences to date.

“Professor Thomas is an experienced university leader with a strong academic background in microbial genetics, environmental microbiology and agricultural biotechnology and she will bring significant teaching, research and commercialisation expertise to the ARC.

“The ARC has a significant agenda ahead, including developing the new Engagement and Impact Assessment to accompany the internationally-recognised Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the agency has a key role to play in delivering the Turnbull Government’s record $3.5 billion annual investment in research and measuring those outcomes. 

“I congratulate Professor Thomas on her appointment and look forward to working with her.”

Professor Thomas is currently Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England, having previously held senior positions at Charles Sturt University, University of Canberra and Flinders University.

Professor Thomas will commence her role with the ARC on 3 July 2017. Leanne Harvey will continue in the role of Acting CEO of the ARC until then.

Further information about Professor Sue Thomas and the ARC is available at
Minister Birmingham’s media contact:      

James Murphy 0478 333 97
Nick Creevey 0447 644 957
Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations                
0412 623 056 or

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