Australia’s national geological survey, Geoscience Australia, has announced the appointment of its new chief executive officer. Dr James Johnson has replaced Dr Chris Pigram as the CEO of Geoscience Australia.
Coinciding with the news of Geoscience Australia launching the new satellite remote sensing data initiative, Digital Earth Australia, Johnson’s appointment comes at an exciting period for Geoscience Australia.
Dr Johnson has more than 30 years’ experience in the geoscience sector, including 11 years as a Division Chief at Geoscience Australia responsible for leading the organisation’s energy and minerals activities. Johnson 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 AU$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.
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 predecessor, Dr Chris Pigram served as 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.