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Professor

Dawn Freshwater

Chair

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Professor

Dawn Freshwater

Chair

Dawn Freshwater is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Auckland, and has been a globally recognised as a leader in world-class universities for more than a decade, whilst remaining committed to her academic discipline.

She became the University’s first female Vice-Chancellor in March 2020, after serving as the University of Western Australia’s Vice-Chancellor and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Registrar for six years (2014-2020). In her role as Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia (UWA), she led the development of UWA’s ambitious 2030 Vision and 2025 Strategic Plan, and a significant transformation agenda. She was instrumental in leading the development of the UWA Public Policy Institute, creating a bridge between academic research and government, public and business needs, and delivering real-world policy impact and solutions to local and global challenges for the Indian Ocean Rim and the broader Indo-Pacific region.

Professor Freshwater was the first female Chair of the G08 Research Intensive Universities in Australia, and Deputy Chair (2018-2020) having previously been a Director.  She is currently a Board Director of the Perth USAsia Centre, Chair of the Partnership Board of the World University Network (WUN), member of the National Health and Research Medical Council’s Women in Health Science Committee (NHMRC) and a board Director of Research Australia. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW) Engagement Committee.

Professor Freshwater was awarded her PhD at the University of Nottingham (1998) and is a highly experienced and driven supporter of translational research and research-led teaching. Her contribution to the fields of Public Health (specifically Mental Health and Forensic Mental Health) and in researching Leadership practices won her the highest honour in her field – the Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing (FRCN).

As an academic, Professor Freshwater has contributed to almost 200 publications, including peer-reviewed papers, research reports, books, editorials and media contributions, and she continues to supervise PhD students.

As an active researcher and scholar, Professor Freshwater also served on the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Research, Research Excellence Framework (REF) panel. She has also acted as an advisor to the United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).  Freshwater’s research focuses on two key themes: psychological therapies research and offender health research. She links this to medical humanities, with a focus on utilising narrative methodologies – in particular, in the arts, music and textual analysis. Professor Freshwater is a strong advocate for values-led and inclusive leadership, about which she has written and researched extensively.

A strong advocate of industry engagement and of the role of higher education in supporting trade agreements, Professor Freshwater maintains strong professional ties with key figures in education and industry in Asia, Europe and the United States, and was until recently member of the Federal Minister’s Higher Education Industry advisory group. Freshwater currently Chair’s the University of Auckland’s UniServices, research and innovation ecosystem.

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Professor

Peter Lennie

Executive Director

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Professor

Peter Lennie

Executive Director

Peter Lennie is the Jay Last Distinguished University Professor at University of Rochester.  He has been Executive Director of WUN since August 2018.

Lennie is a neuroscientist whose work has focused principally on early stage mechanisms of vision,  and the encoding and transmission of information from the eye’s retina to the primary visual cortex.  His published work has contributed particularly to our understanding of how information about the color of objects is represented in the brain.

He was born and educated in the UK.  After obtaining his PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge, he held a Harkness Fellowship at Northwestern University in Evanston, followed by a Research Fellowship at King’s College, Cambridge, before becoming Lecturer in  Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex.  In 1982 he moved to University of Rochester to join the Center for Visual Science. During his time in Rochester he became founding chair of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.  From 1998 to 2006 he was at New York University as Professor of Neural Science and Dean for Science.  In 2006 he returned to University of Rochester as Senior Vice President and Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.  From 2012 to 2016 he also served as the university’s Provost. During his time as Provost he drove a major expansion of the university’s international engagement.

His professional service includes appointments on editorial boards of several scientific journals, service on boards of professional societies, and on National Institutes of Health review panels, including from 1985-1988 as chairman of Visual Sciences B Study Section.  He served as chairman of the National Research Council’s Committee on Vision from 1991-95, and on its Board on Behavioral, Cognitive and Sensory Sciences from 1997 to 2004.  He was chairman of the National Research Council Committee on Disability Determination for Individuals with Visual Impairment.  From 1992 to 2002 he held a MERIT award from the National Eye Institute.  He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.