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Our executive leadership team

Our executive leadership team ensures HRC's policies and procedures are as robust and transparent as possible.

Professor Sunny Collings

Professor Sunny Collings

Chief Executive

Professor Sunny Collings was appointed chief executive of the HRC in February 2020. She brings to the HRC more than 25 years of clinical and research experience in the health space. 

Sunny works closely with the HRC’s chair and colleagues at the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to ensure that the HRC develops a skilled and capable health research workforce and invests in research with significant potential to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders, with a focus on the contribution of research in supporting the Government Policy Statement on Health 2024-2027.

Dr Tania Pocock

Dr Tania Pocock HRC NZ

Director, Policy and Strategy

Tania is responsible for policy, strategy, evaluation, strategic relationships and communications at the HRC.

In her role she contributes to the development of policies, strategies, and priorities to maximise the impact of the public funds invested in health research and demonstrate the value of that impact to all stakeholders.

Stacey Pene

Stacey Pene HRC

Director, Investments

Stacey provides executive leadership to the HRC across research investment, contract managment, and integrity.

In this role he contributes to the development and implementation of investment strategies, has oversight of investment processes, and maintains relationships with key stakeholders in the research and funding sectors, to support the HRC’s goals to invest in high-quality, high-impact research that saves lives. 

Lynne Bjarnesen

Chief Financial Officer and Director of Corporate Services