Board of Directors – The Centre for Independent Studies

Board of Directors

  • Nicholas Moore
    Nicholas Moore


    Nicholas Moore is a former Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Group Limited. He retired in 2018 after 32 years at Macquarie, including 10 years as CEO. Nicholas has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of NSW (UNSW). He was admitted as a solicitor and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. In 2017, Nicholas was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW. He is Chair of Screen Australia, The Centre for Independent Studies, The Smith Family, Willow Technology Corporation, the National Catholic Education Commission, a member (and former Chair) of the UNSW Business School Advisory Council, a non-executive director of QBiotics Group, a member of the Council of the National Gallery of Australia, and part-time Chair to the Markets Taskforce Expert Advisory Panel, and the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority within the Department of the Treasury. Nicholas was previously Chair of PCYC NSW from 2002 to 2015, and the Sydney Opera House Trust from 2015 to 2020.

  • Tom Switzer
    Tom Switzer

    Executive Director

    Tom Switzer is the Executive Director at the Centre for Independent Studies. He is a former senior fellow at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre (2009-17), a former editor of the Spectator Australia (2009-14), senior federal Liberal leader adviser/speech writer (2008), opinion editor of The Australian, (2001-08), editorial writer at the Australian Financial Review (1998-01) and assistant editor at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC (1995-98). He has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The Spectator, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The American Interest and The American Conservative. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Sky News, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and ABC radio and television. He hosts Between the Lines on the ABC's Radio National.


  • Chris Roberts
    Chris Roberts

    Deputy Chairman

    Chris Roberts is Deputy Chair of the CIS. He is Chairman of Orora Ltd, which demerged in Dec 2013 from Amcor Ltd where he had been chairman for 13 years. He is also a Director of Control Risks Plc and was formerly non-executive director of Telstra, Australian Agriculture, Petaluma Wines, MLC Life, and Email Ltd. His executive roles included CEO of OrlandoWyndham Wines and Arnotts Ltd.

  • Philippa Stone
    Philippa Stone

    Deputy Chairman

    Philippa Stone is a partner of Herbert Smith Freehills, a major international law firm, where she specialises in equity raisings and mergers and acquisitions. She is Joint Global Head of the firm’s Capital Markets group. Ms Stone is also a director of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and has been a member of the International Air Services Commission, and prior to that a non-executive director of Airservices Australia. She was also a director of David Jones Limited prior to its takeover by Woolworths in 2014. Ms Stone is a guest lecturer at Sydney University on capital markets transactions. She is on the Law Council of Australia’s Corporations Committee, and was a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Business Regulation Advisory Group (“BRAG”) on the CLERP 9 reforms and a member of the ASX’s Appeals Tribunal.

  • Michael Rennie
    Michael Rennie

    Deputy Chairman

    Michael Rennie is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co now based in Dubai. He is a member of the Firm's global board and Global Leader of the Organisation Practice. Previously he was the Managing Partner for McKinsey and Company in Australia and New Zealand.He has worked with some of the World's best CEO's and management teams across 15 countries on their individual, team and organisational performance. With 29 years consulting experience he has worked behind the scenes on a number of Australia's most noted corporate transformations. He has a strong interest in Government policy and community issues.He has led five major economic policy projects for two Australian Prime Ministers and was a member of the Board of the Economic Planning Advisory Commission. He has been long time Chairman of the Inspire Foundation and a Board member of the Salvation Army and currently the Hunger Project. Michael has law degrees from the University of Western Australia, studied languages and history in Switzerland and has an MA in Economics and Philosophy from Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is married with three children.

  • Mark Barnaba AM
    Mark Barnaba AM

    Mark is a career investment banker, having focused predominately in the natural resources sector. Mark has spent most of his career with McKinsey & Company (both in Australia and overseas), companies he founded, led and then sold - GEM Consulting and Azure Capital, and in several senior executive roles at Macquarie Group (one being the Chairman and Global Head of the Natural Resources Group). He is currently the Deputy Chairman and Lead Independent Director at Fortescue Metals Group and is a member of the Board (and Chairman of the Audit Committee) of the Reserve Bank of Australia. He also chairs the Board of the University of Western Australia Business School, chairs the Hospital Benefit Fund (HBF) Investment Committee, is a member of the Senior Advisory Board of Appian Capital, is a member of the Board of The Centre for Independent Studies and is a senior adviser to EY (Oceania). Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours and University Medal) from the University of Western Australia, an MBA from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar) and an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.

  • Jennifer Buckingham
    Jennifer Buckingham

    Dr Jennifer Buckingham is Director of Strategy and Senior Research Fellow at MultiLit Pty Ltd. Prior to that she was a Senior Research Fellow and director of the education program and the Five from Five project at The Centre for Independent Studies, where she was a long-time member of the research staff. Jennifer is also a board member of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

  • Michael Chaney AO
    Michael Chaney AO

    Michael Chaney AO rejoined the board of Wesfarmers as Chairman in 2015. He is also Chairman of the National School Resourcing Board and a member of the Commonwealth Science Council. After obtaining his Science degree, Michael worked for eight years as a petroleum geologist in Australia and the USA. After completing his MBA he worked in investment banking for three years and joined Wesfarmers in 1983 as Company Secretary and Administration Manager, became Finance Director in 1984 and was appointed Managing Director in July 1992. He retired from that position in July 2005. Michael was a director of BHP Billiton Limited from 1995 to 2005 and Chairman of the National Australia Bank Limited from 2005 to 2015 and was former Chairman of The University of Western Australia. Michael was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2004 for services to business and the community. He has BsC, MBA and Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Western Australia and completed the AMP at Harvard in 1992.

  • Melinda Conrad
    Melinda Conrad

    Melinda Conrad is a Non-Executive Director of ASX Limited, Caltex Australia Limited, and the Stockland Corporation Limited. She is also a Non Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health and is a member of the ASIC Director Advisory Panel and the AICD Corporate Governance Committee. Ms. Conrad has over 25 years of expertise in consumer-related industries, including as a retail entrepreneur and CEO, and roles at Colgate-Palmolive and Harvard Business School. She is a former Board member of OFX Group Limited, David Jones Ltd, The Reject Shop Limited, APN News & Media Ltd, the Garvan Institute Foundation, and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Melinda has an MBA from Harvard Business School, a BA from Wellesley College, and is a Fellow of AICD. 

  • Michael Darling
    Michael Darling

    Michael Darling is Chairman of Caledonia (Private) Investments Pty Limited. He is also a member of the Asian Advisory Board of Prudential Financial Inc Asia and a director of Four Winds Concerts Inc. He has served as a Director of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Australian Wool Realisation Commission. He is past Chairman of Art Exhibitions Australia, was trustee of the National Gallery of Victoria and is a past director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. He has been a member of the CIS Board since 1986 and was Chairman from 2004 to 2015.

  • Sir Rod Eddington AO
    Sir Rod Eddington AO

    Sir Rod Eddington AO is non-executive Chairman (Australia & New Zealand) of J.P. Morgan and non-executive Chairman of Lion. Rod's career began in transport and aviation and he went on to become CEO of Cathay Pacific, Ansett Airlines and British Airways, before retiring in late 2005 and returning to Australia.Sir Rod was Western Australia’s Rhodes Scholar in 1974 and holds a Doctorate from Oxford University in the Department of Engineering Science. In 2005, Rod was awarded a Knighthood by the British Government for service to civil aviation, and in 2012 an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to business and commerce. In 2006, he completed a study for the British Government on the links between transport and the economy.In addition to maintaining non-executive directorships with 21st Century Fox, China Light & Power Holdings and John Swire & Sons, Sir Rod also serves as a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Chairman of Victorian Major Events Company and President of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Committee. Sir Rod was also the Chair of Infrastructure Australia until 2014.

  • Sir Bill English KNZM
    Sir Bill English KNZM

    Sir Bill English retired from politics in 2018 after 27 years. He was Minister of Finance in NZ in 1999 and 2008-2016 and Prime Minister 2016-2017. Bill is currently a director of Wesfarmers, a director of several private technology and export companies, and runs a family business. Bill has consulted with Australian federal and state governments and New Zealand businesses operating trans-Tasman. He has ongoing interest on sound economic policy and Social Investment, a data driven approach to measuring social impact and improving the lives of the most vulnerable. Sir Bill is married to Dr Mary English, a medical practitioner in Wellington, and they have six adult children.

  • Dr Peter C Farrell AM
    Dr Peter C Farrell AM

    Dr Peter Farrell AM, Ph.D., DSc is founder and Chairman of ResMed. Dr. Farrell has served as CEO for Resmed as Vice President, Research and Development, and as a Managing Director at various subsidiaries of Baxter International, Inc.He was a Foundation Director of the Graduate School for Biomedical Engineering at the University of New South Wales where he currently serves as a Visiting Professor and as Chairman of the UNSW Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Farrell holds a B.E. in chemical engineering with honors from the University of Sydney, an S.M. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and bioengineering from the University of Washington, Seattle and a D.Sc. from the University of New South Wales for research contributions relating to treatment with the artificial kidney.Dr. Farrell was named 1998 San Diego Entrepreneur of the Year for Health Sciences, Australian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001 and US National Entrepreneur of the Year for 2005 in Health Sciences. In 2010, he was named Chairman of the Executive Council of the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine. In 2012, he joined the Board of Trustees of the Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Farrell is a director of NuVasive, Inc. Dr. Farrell was President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Arts, San Diego (2009-2011). In 2011 Farrell was named a Gordon Fellow by UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering and in 2012 was admitted as a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

  • Ross Grant
    Ross Grant

    Ross Grant is Chairman of Grant Samuel Group, an independent investment banking firm which he established in 1988. He was previously an Executive Director of Macquarie Bank Limited having joined Hill Samuel Australia Limited (the predecessor of Macquarie Bank Limited) in 1975. Ross holds degrees in Mathematics (B.Sc (Hons) - Otago University), Economics (M.Com (Hons) - Canterbury University) and Business Administration (MBA - University of NSW). Ross Grant is a Director of Australian Wildlife Conservancy, a Director of the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, a Director of Waratahs Rugby and a Director of Sydney Symphony.

  • John M. Green
    John M. Green

    John M. Green is a company director, author and publisher. He is deputy chairman of QBE Insurance Group and a board member of Challenger, the Cyber-Security Cooperative Research Centre. The Green family founded and runs Pantera Press, recently shortlisted for 2018 Small Publisher of the Year. John was previously an investment banker and, before that, a lawyer.

  • Sam Kennard
    Sam Kennard

    Sam Kennard is Chief Executive Officer of Kennards Self Storage. Appointed to lead the family business in 1994, under his stewardship Kennards Self Storage has grown from 14 storage centres to over 93 centres today. The company has approximately 300 employees with activities spanning Australia and New Zealand. Kennards Self Storage remains a privately owned family business. He has extensive experience in business and property development focusing on growing the business in Australia and New Zealand. Sam is on the Board of the Wenona School Foundation and has served on the Board of the Self Storage Association of Australasia.

  • Greg Lindsay AO
    Greg Lindsay AO

    Director and Founder of The Centre for Independent Studies

    Mr Lindsay is the founder and was the Executive Director for 42 years. After stepping down at the beginning of 2018 he has continued his involvement by becoming a Director of the CIS. While studying philosophy at Macquarie University in the early 1970s, Mr Lindsay became interested in the ideas underpinning a free and open society. A maths teacher by training, Mr Lindsay taught for some years at Richmond High School in Western Sydney, and while there, founded the Centre in 1976. Since then, he has overseen the development of CIS into Australia's largest independent think tank covering the three major policy areas – economic, social and international. He has been active in the international liberal movement and is a former President of The Mont Pelerin Society (


  • Peter Mason AM
    Peter Mason AM

    Peter Mason is Chairman of AusNet Services Ltd, a Director of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and a Senior Advisor to UBS. Peter served as CIS Chairman from 2015 to 2019. Peter is Chairman of the UBS Australia Foundation; a Founding Panel Member of Adara Partners; and an Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation. He was Chairman of AMP Limited; Chairman of David Jones Limited; and previously a director of a number of public companies. He has more than 40 years investment banking experience, including JP Morgan and Schroders. Peter has been a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House Trust; a member of the Council of the University of New South Wales; a Director of the Children’s Hospital in Sydney, and Chairman of the Children’s Hospital Fund; and a director of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (Headspace).

  • Robert McLean AM
    Robert McLean AM

    Rob is a company director and private equity investor. He is a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia Payment Systems Board, a director of LJ Hooker and a Senior Advisor at McKinsey and Co, Inc.Rob was the Managing Director of McKinsey and Co, Inc for Australia and New Zealand in a 25 year career with the Firm. He went on to become Dean and Director of AGSM from 2003 until 2006.In private equity he is a board member of data analytics firm Zetaris and a director of the Brain Company, a company offering learning data modelling for cognitive tasks.He chairs The Nature Conservancy Australia board and serves on the Asia Pacific Council of The Nature Conservancy. He is a Council Member of Philanthropy Australia and a director of the Centre for Independent Studies. He co founded Social Ventures Australia and served as President of the Benevolent Society.He was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for his contributions to social welfare, conservation and the environment and to business.

  • Rohan Mead
    Rohan Mead

    Rohan Mead was appointed Group Managing Director of Australian Unity Limited on 1 July 2004. Mr Mead is chairman of Platypus Asset Management, deputy chair of Acorn Capital, a director of Seres Asset Management (Hong Kong) and a director of the Australian Centre for Health Research. He is chairman of the Business Council of Australia's Healthy Australia task force and is also a member of the federal Health Ministers Ministerial Advisory Council. Prior to joining Australian Unity, Mr Mead was employed by Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited (1996-2003) in a range of senior roles.

  • Professor Cav. Simon Mordant AO
    Professor Cav. Simon Mordant AO

    Simon Mordant is Executive Co Chairman and founder of Luminis Partners. He specialises in advising local and multinational companies and Government on their capital markets strategy and merger and acquisitions. Simon is outgoing Chairman of the Board of the MCA Australia and Chairman of the NSW Visual Arts Board. He is also a Vice Chairman of MOMA PS1 (New York), a director of Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Garvan Research Foundation, and Lend Lease’s Art Advisory Panel for Barangaroo. In addition, he is a Trustee of the American Academy in Rome, and a member of the International Council of The Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Executive Committee of the Tate International Council, the Wharton Executive Board for Asia, the Advisory Board of Venetian Heritage in Italy, The Centre for Independent Studies Board, The Ethics Centre Board, Human Rights Watch, and the NSW Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. Simon is an Adjunct Professor at Universita Cattolica in their International Program in Cultural Diplomacy and Masters Program, an Honorary Enterprise Professor at The Centre of Visual Art (CoVA), University of Melbourne, has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished services to visual arts at the national and international level, and awarded a knighthood in the Order of the Star of Italy by the President of Italy, Cavaliere dell’Ordine della Stella d’Italia.

  • April Palmerlee
    April Palmerlee

    April Palmerlee is Chief Executive Officer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. She joined AmCham in 2017 after a distinguished career in government, education, and the corporate sector. American-born, Palmerlee has lived in Sydney since 2003 and is a dual citizen. She received a BS from Georgetown University and a Master’s from Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Immediately after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, she was appointed to the senior executive service of the US Department of State where she served as Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues (now called Ambassador-at-Large, equivalent to Assistant Secretary). Before that, she was a senior executive at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. She has also worked for couturier Oscar de la Renta, financial publisher The Bank Credit Analyst, and not-for-profit The Spanish Institute. She is currently on the selection committee for the Fulbright scholarship in NSW and the Georgetown University Australian and New Zealand Studies Board.

  • James Philips
    James Philips

    James Philips is the former Head of Corporate at two major law firms, and a former Board member at one of them. He was a mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets lawyer. He is a visiting lecturer in the Law School at the University of Sydney, and the chairman of three real estate investment trusts. He is the author of the book Two Revolutions and the Constitution: How the English and American Revolutions Produced the American Constitution.

  • Steven Skala AO
    Steven Skala AO

    Steven Skala AO has a distinguished career of service including on the boards of public and private companies, and government-related and not-for-profit organizations. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the law, business and banking. Steven is Vice Chairman, Australia of Deutsche Bank AG, a position he has held since 2004 and is Chairman of the Commonwealth Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Among public companies, he is a former Chairman of Wilson Group Limited, Hexima Limited and the Island Food Company Limited, and is a former Director of the Channel TEN Group of companies and Max Capital Group Limited. Between 1982 and 2004, he was a Partner of Australian law firms, Morris Fletcher & Cross (now Minter Ellison) and Arnold Bloch Leibler. Active beyond banking and commerce, Steven is Chairman of the Heide Museum of Modern Art and a Member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. He was previously Chairman of Film Australia Limited, Chairman of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Vice President (Deputy Chairman) of The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a Director of the Australian Ballet.

  • Robert Skeffington
    Robert Skeffington

    Robert Skeffington is a Senior Managing Director of FTI Consulting, a global strategic communications firm. He advises companies on how to communicate to their stakeholders during key moments of change. He specialises in helping business leaders manage the interface between public affairs and business strategy. He started his career at the National Farmers’ Federation working on some of the critical micro-economic reform initiatives of the 1990s. He also worked as a business journalist, and later went on to be head of strategy at an ASX listed media company. Robert also worked for McKinsey & Company for seven years in its Australian office. Robert is a graduate of the University of Western Australia and has published a number of research papers in the Centre for Independent Studies journal, Policy. He now lives in Sydney.

  • Alison Watkins
    Alison Watkins

    Alison is an experienced CEO and non-executive director. She is a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia Board and was recently appointed as Chancellor of the University of Tasmania. Alison is also a director of CSL Limited commencing in August 2021, and a director of Wesfarmers Limited commencing in September 2021. She is a director of the Business Council of Australia. Alison has led two ASX-listed companies; Coca-Cola Amatil Limited and GrainCorp Limited. Previously she led Berri Limited, and the Regional Banking business at ANZ. Alison’s earlier career was spent in professional services, including 10 years at McKinsey & Company where she became a partner before moving to ANZ as Group General Manager Strategy. Alison has been a non-executive director of ANZ Banking Group Limited, Woolworths Limited and Just Group Limited. She is a former Victorian President and National Board Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alison holds a Bachelor of Commerce (University of Tasmania), is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants ANZ, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alison is married to Rod and they have 4 adult children. They live in Victoria and enjoy swimming, golf and being at their farm as much as possible.

  • Dr Gary Weiss AM
    Dr Gary Weiss AM

    Dr. Weiss holds the degrees of LL.B (Hons) and LL.M (with dist.) from Victoria University of Wellington, as well as a Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) from Cornell University, New York. Dr Weiss has extensive international business experience and has been involved in numerous cross-border mergers and acquisitions.Dr Weiss is Chairman of Coats plc and Secure Parking Pty Ltd, Executive Director of Ariadne Australia Ltd, and a director of Premier Investments Limited, Ridley Corporation Ltd and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. He was executive director of Guinness Peat Group plc from 1990 to April 2011 and has held directorships of numerous companies, including Westfield Group, Tower Australia Ltd, Australian Wealth Management Limited, Tyndall Australia Ltd (Deputy Chairman), Joe White Maltings Ltd (Chairman), CIC Ltd, Whitlam Turnbull & Co Ltd and Industrial Equity Ltd.He has authored numerous articles on a variety of legal and commercial topics.

  • Christopher D.White FAICD
    Christopher D.White FAICD

    Christopher is the co-owner and Managing Director of Ringmer Pacific, a privately owned property investment company.He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has been a non-executive Director of Outward Bound Australia since 2003 and joined the board of the Centre for Independent Studies in 2011.

  • Steven Wilson AM
    Steven Wilson AM

    Steve has had an extensive career in the investment industry in Sydney, London and Brisbane. He led the stockbroker Wilsons to become a national leader in emerging companies whilst establishing investment management through Hyperion (1996) and Pinnacle (2006). Pinnacle was spun out of Wilsons in 2016 and is listed on the ASX with a market capital of $750million and funds under management of $33billion across 9 affiliates. He is currently Chair of Racing Queensland Racing Australia and Australian Oil Shale Holding Ltd. He previously chaired Southbank Corporation (16 years), Hyperion Asset Management, St John’s Cathedral Completion Fund, and Queensland Rugby Union and was a Director of Telstra Corporation, Tourism Queensland and the Council of Queensland University of Technology. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2011 for services to the finance industry and community, the BDA Gold Medal in 2008 for his role in transforming Southbank and honorary doctorates from QUT and Griffith Universities.