About the ARENA Board
Under ARENA's governance framework, ARENA has an independent, decision making board consisting of the Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and up to 6 members appointed by the Minister for Resources and Energy.
The members of the Board draw together skills in renewable energy technology, commercialisation, business investment and corporate governance to provide independent and expert administration of ARENA's funds.
About the CEO
ARENA also has an independent CEO appointed by the Minister for Resources and Energy. The Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP has appointed the current ARENA CEO, Mr Ivor Frischknecht, on the recommendation of the ARENA Board.
Short Biographies of each of the members of the ARENA Board and the ARENA CEO are provided below:
Greg Bourne (Chair)
Mr Bourne studied chemistry at the University of Western Australia under a scholarship from BP Refinery, Kwinana. After graduating with honours in 1971, he carried out research into refinery processes before joining BP Exploration as a Drilling Engineer in Abu Dhabi. His Exploration activities saw him living and working in the United Kingdom, Middle East, USA, Canada, Ireland, Brazil, China, Venezuela and Australia.
Seconded to the Prime Minister's Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street in 1988, he was the Special Adviser on Energy and Transport.
He returned to Australia in October 1992 in charge of BP Exploration's activities in Australia's North West Shelf and Papua New Guinea. After working overseas as Director BP Scotland and then Regional Director—Latin America based in Caracas; he returned to Australia in January 1999 to become Regional President—BP Australasia the position from which he retired from BP in September 2003.
Greg was appointed CEO WWF-Australia in October 2004 the position he held until June 2010.
Greg is on a number of commonwealth and state advisory groups primarily concerned with climate change, energy and sustainability. He was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the environment and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Western Australia for services to international business.
Ms Donaghey is currently a director of Imdex, a company that provides drilling fluids and instrumentation to the mining, oil and gas, water well, and civil engineering industries. Ms Donaghey is also a director of St Barbara, a gold produce and exploration company and is a former member of the Solar Flagships Council.
From 2000 until September 2009, Ms Donaghey worked for Woodside Petroleum in various senior roles including Senior Vice President Australian Business Unit and Executive Vice President Browse LNG Development. Prior to joining Woodside Petroleum, Ms Donaghey worked for BHP Billiton for 19 years.
Ms Donaghey holds a Bachelor of Science (Civil Engineering), from Texas A&M University, Masters of Science (Operations Research) from the University of Houston and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Dr Spalding is a Commissioner at the Australian Energy Market Commission and was a member of the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy Board.
Dr Spalding has had more than 30 years experience in power system operations and has had a key implementation and operational role in electricity markets in New South Wales and nationally since their conception in the early 1990s.
In 2008, Dr Spalding became Chief Executive Officer of NEMMCO and was responsible for the day to day operations of the National Electricity Market and the electricity power system for South and Eastern Australia. In July 2009 he became Executive General Manager—Operations of the Australian Energy Market Operator.
Dr Spalding holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Honours Class 1 and University Medal) and a Doctor of Philosophy in power system analysis from the University of New South Wales.
Blair Comley commenced as Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism in March 2013. Prior to this appointment, Blair was Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.
Other roles Blair has filled include Deputy Secretary in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency with executive oversight for climate change strategy and market instruments, international climate change policy, and issues related to the land sector. He has also held senior positions in the Treasury including General Manager of the Business Tax Division, Indirect Tax Division, Macroeconomic Policy Division and the Debt Management Review Team.
Blair also represented Australia for three years on economic matters at the OECD and was the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Office of Financial Management with responsibility for managing the Australian Government's debt and related derivative portfolio. Blair previously worked on competition policy, environment policy and welfare reform.
Blair holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and a Master of Economics from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies from the Australian National University.
Dr Jane Sargison is a Rhodes Scholar and Mechanical Engineer with a background in energy industry research and development. Dr Sargison was awarded the Tasmanian and National Professional Engineer of the Year for 2011 by Engineers Australia.
Dr Sargison is the Executive Director of RBE Pty Ltd, a technology start up company, developing straw to energy power stations with carbon sequestration via biochar, across the West Australian Wheatbelt.
Dr Sargison is a Director of the boards of Southern Water, the Australian Institute of Energy and National Mechanical College of Engineers Australia. She is a member of the Tasmanian Building Regulations Advisory Committee and is also a Director of her business, JSA Consulting Engineers.
Ms Smith is the Head of Private Equity, Industry Funds Management (IFM). Ms Smith is responsible for the Private Equity Group. IFM invests on behalf of clients in local and international private equity funds, as well as co investments. Ms Smith is also Chair of IFM's Risk Committee and Deputy Chair of IFM's Investments and Strategy Committee.
Prior to joining IFM, Ms Smith held various investment management roles, including a decade plus at National Mutual Funds Management (NMFM). At NMFM she variously managed Australian equity portfolios (including large capitalisation portfolios, specialist small company portfolios and private equity investments) and Australian equity research and strategy.
Ms Smith has been involved with private equity in the Australian market since 1990 and is currently a member of the AVCAL board and participates on a number of fund advisory boards.
Ms Smith holds a Master of Applied Finance from The University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Economics (with Honours) from Monash University. Additionally Ms Smith is a Fellow of FINSIA.
Mr Twidell was the Executive Director of the Australian Solar Institute (ASI) (since 2009) and is a former member of the ASI Board and the Solar Flagships Council.
Mr Twidell has over twenty years experience in the Australian renewable energy sector. From 1988 to 2009 Mr Twidell held senior roles with BP Solar in Australia, America and Asia. Specifically, from 2006 -2009 Mr Twidell was the BP Solar Performance Unit Leader based in India. In this role he was responsible for all activity outside Europe and the USA. Prior to this role, Mr Twidell was the BP Solar Australia Regional Director Australia-Asia.
Mr Twidell holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Honors) from the University of Edinburgh Scotland and a Masters of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Business, Sydney University.
Mr Frischknecht's appointment as ARENA CEO commenced in August 2012.
Mr Frischknecht brings experience as Investment Director of Starfish Ventures Pty Ltd. Starfish is a venture capital firm that manages $400 million primarily on behalf of Australian superannuation funds. Mr Frischknecht's key activities included responsibility for the firm's cleantech investment activities, including for alternative energy, water and other environmental technologies.
Mr Frischknecht was previously Director of New Ventures, Idealab, a company involved in developing and investing in technology start-up companies, including renewable energy companies. Mr Frischknecht was also previously the CEO of H2onsite (a company involved in commercialisation of clean energy generation technology) and a senior executive and advisor to a range of venture capital and energy companies.
Mr Frischknecht holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics with Honours from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Business Administration and Public Management Certificate from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.