New CEO for Geoscience Australia

08 May 2017

Portrait photograph of Geoscience Australia┬┐s new Chief Executive Officer, Dr James Johnson

We are pleased to announce Dr James Johnson as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Geoscience Australia.

Dr Johnson brings much knowledge to the position. He has more than 30 years' experience in the geoscience sector, including 11 years as a Division Chief at Geoscience Australia; leading the organisation's energy and minerals activities. He has also been Geoscience Australia's Deputy CEO for the past six years.

Dr Johnson's significant contributions to Geoscience Australia include overseeing the development of the current $100 million Exploring for the Future Programme. He also shepherded the $59 million Onshore Energy Security Program (2006-2011); which discovered a new sedimentary basin with energy hosting potential in north Queensland, produced the first national radiometric map of Australia, and resulted in an estimated additional $300 million industry exploration expenditure during the life of the program.

Beyond his leadership of Geoscience Australia's resources work, his contributions include conducting a review of sustainable business options for Geoscience Australia in response to difficult economic conditions at the time of the Global Financial Crisis. This review was highly influential in shaping strategic plans for the organisation, and was the catalyst for securing an increase to Geoscience Australia's baseline funding from 2013-14.

He has also personally championed our inclusive culture initiative, seeking to make Geoscience Australia a place where everyone has equal opportunity to contribute, participate and progress.

Before joining Geoscience Australia Dr Johnson led successful exploration teams in the minerals industry, working in Western Australia, Victoria and Canada, overseeing the discovery of new resources worth more than $800 million.

In accepting the role, Dr Johnson said "I am excited by the opportunity to work with Geoscience Australia's knowledgeable and passionate experts to shape the future directions of the organisation to deliver benefits to the nation."

Dr Johnson was selected after an extensive global search that sought to identify a new CEO to build on Geoscience Australia's existing strong position as the nation's trusted advisor on the geology and geography of Australia.

Dr Johnson replaces Dr Chris Pigram, the CEO from 2011 to 2016. Dr Johnson said he is "greatly indebted to Dr Pigram for his excellent leadership over the past six years, positioning Geoscience Australia as a respected organisation that delivers value to Australia, as well as developing the organisation as an inclusive workplace."

An early priority for Dr Johnson is to meet with Geoscience Australia's key stakeholders in the private and public sectors, across the broad range of geoscience disciplines in which we work, to deepen his understanding of our stakeholders' needs when it comes to geoscience knowledge and capability.