Kathy Woolley appointed new CEO of Western Research Institute

Updated: May 22, 2019

New CEO Kathy Woolley with Mark Burdack

The Western Research Institute (WRI) today announced the appointment of Ms Kathy Woolley as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Ms Woolley has worked in local government for 15 years, and is currently Director of Corporate and Commercial Services at Orange City Council. She has previously held roles at Mid-Western and Lithgow councils, which included a period as acting-general manager.

Kathy has qualifications and experience in economics, strategic planning, business development and community engagement. She worked as an economic researcher at the Illawarra Research and Information Services (IRIS), and had a successful stint as Business Development Manager at WRI leading its business growth strategy.

The Chair of the WRI, Ms Juliet Duffy, said: “The Board was delighted with the selection of Kathy. She is highly regarded in the regional development and business sectors for her skills, insight and capabilities. I look forward to working with her in leading the implementation of WRI’s new growth strategy.”

Former Chair of the WRI, Mark Burdack, who managed the recruitment and selection process, said:

“The Board had a complex and demanding brief. They sought a CEO with proven senior executive leadership experience and a track record of success in business growth, who was a proven researcher and had a deep understanding of the needs of regional stakeholders.

“Kathy ticked all these boxes and will help WRI to grow over the coming years, and expand its positive influence on regional growth in inland areas.”

Kathy Woolley said: "It is great to be given the opportunity of returning to WRI as the CEO. I've kept an eye on the business since I last worked there. The current services, added to the potential for this business, and its aim of supporting regional growth made the offer irresistible. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

WRI is a not-for-profit Institute based in central western NSW, and delivers economic research, business development, strategic planning, community consultation and grant writing services focussed on regional economic, business and community development. WRI allocates surplus funds to support the Inland Research Trust to undertake public purpose research into inland growth and development.

For more information contact Mark Burdack at Cultivate Solutions on 0418974988. Cultivate Solutions is a regional governance and management advisory firm specialising in Board recruitment and governance advice, strategic planning and management consulting.

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