Megan Clark AC will join the board as a non-executive director.
Rio Tinto has made good on its pledge to increase the Australian representation on its board of directors, with the chief executive of the CSIRO appointed by the global miner this morning.
Megan Clark AC becomes the second new Australian appointed to the Rio board in 2014, after former foreign affairs bureaucrat Michael L’estrange AO was appointed in May. Dr Clark was due to leave the CSIRO in December, but Rio Tinto said she would step down from that position immediately.
Her time at the CSIRO has seen her publicly talk about the merits of carbon markets and the need for miners to adapt to the era of big data and technological disruption.
Dr Clark was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her service to scientific research and development.
The two new directors join other Australians like Mike Fitzpatrick, Sam Walsh and Chris Lynch on the board, and with the latter two holding the two top executive positions at the company, Rio had a distinctly Australian flavour at the moment.
Photo: Jamila Toderas
The company also appointed former French nuclear energy executive Anne Lauvergeon to the board earlier this year, marking a period of board renewal.
Dr Clark has had an extensive career in both the private and public sector in Australia, combining expertise in the metals and mining business with high-level experience in science, research and technology. She is chief executive of Australia’s national research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Dr Clark started her career as a geologist, holding various mineral exploration, mine geology and strategy roles with Western Mining Corporation before joining BHP Billiton in senior positions in technology and health, safety and environment. Dr Clark has also been appointed to a number of influential advisory positions to both the Government of Australia and the World Economic Forum on science, technology, innovation and research.
Rio Tinto chairman Jan du Plessis said “We are very pleased that Megan has accepted our invitation to join the Rio Tinto board. Megan not only has extensive mining experience, but is highly regarded and has, throughout her career, forged a strong reputation for driving a culture of innovation and technology, making her a great fit for Rio Tinto. Her appointment further reinforces the significance of Australia to Rio Tinto’s global operations.”
Dr Clark said “Over many years I have come to know Rio Tinto very well, and it’s a great global company with an exciting strategic outlook. I am delighted to join the Rio Tinto board and look forward to working with the board and management team as Rio positions its business for the future.”
Megan Clark will join the nominations and sustainability committees.