News and events

Mary Quin appointed as CEO of Callaghan Innovation

This article was published on 14 March 2013

Callaghan Innovation announces the appointment of Dr Mary Quin, an exceptional New Zealander with an impressive track record of working in the US engineering and technology sector, as the inaugural CEO of Callaghan Innovation.

With a background in R&D in materials engineering and over 20 years’ experience working in senior executive roles in NASDAQ-listed companies such as Xerox and Eastman Kodak Company, Dr Quin comes with an impressive profile and experience in  technology and engineering industries.

“We are delighted to have a person of Mary Quin’s calibre to lead Callaghan Innovation. With her knowledge of industry and her business acumen, we believe that she can drive substantial commercialisation opportunities for Callaghan Innovation and for New Zealand companies,” says Callaghan Innovation chair Sue Suckling.

“During her most recent tenure at the 2,800-person US support services company, NANA Management Services LLC, where she has been President for the last seven years, she has more than doubled revenues to US$200 million through value creation and diversification. NMS is jointly owned by indigenous Inupiat people of Alaska with whom Mary has worked closely and successfully over a number of years.

“This is the kind of leadership and vision that will propel Callaghan Innovation and its clients forward as we strengthen and grow New Zealand’s science, engineering, design and technology capability and its commercial presence,” says Suckling.

“Her international experience will also be invaluable as a key goal of the organisation is to grow and scale New Zealand’s innovation and sell it to world markets,” says Suckling.

Palmerston North-born Dr Quin has a distinguished academic background. After graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) with first class honours in Physics, she completed a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University in Illinois. After working in research and development for engineering company Raychem for several years, she attended Harvard Business School, where she graduated as a Baker Scholar, the highest distinction given for the top 5% of MBA graduates.

Dr Quin is also an international bestselling author. Her book, Kidnapped in Yemen, draws on her personal experience of being kidnapped as part of a small tour group over Christmas in 1998 in Yemen.

“The creation of Callaghan Innovation has launched exciting new possibilities for generating commercial value from Kiwi ingenuity, science, technology and ideas. I am delighted to be joining not only the talented research, engineering and investment teams already at Callaghan Innovation but also New Zealand’s network of businesses, investors, and educational, research and government institutions, as we tackle our challenging new mission together,” says Dr Quin. 

Dr Quin will relocate from Anchorage, Alaska and will be based in Wellington but will spend a significant amount of her time working in Auckland. She will begin her new role as CEO of Callaghan Innovation on May 3, 2013. Her main responsibilities will include ensuring that Callaghan Innovation accelerates the commercialisation of innovation of New Zealand firms in order to strengthen export capability and grow New Zealand’s economy.