Senior Leadership

Lincoln University is led by a Senior Leadership Team under the governance of a Council.

Our Senior Leadership Team

Professor Grant Edwards


Coming from a farming background in Northland, Professor Grant Edwards completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences with Hons from Lincoln University in 1990. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1991 and through this scholarship completed a DPhil in behavioural ecology at Oxford University in 1994.

He then held research and teaching positions at AgResearch and Imperial College London, before returning to Lincoln University in 2005, first as a senior lecturer in pasture science, before moving to the position of Professor of Dairy Production in 2009. He was appointed  Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 2019 to 2021, and began his appointment as Vice-Chancellor in 2022.

Professor Edwards’ research interests are in the profitability and environmental performance of dairy farming systems. At Lincoln University, he has been instrumental in activation of farm portfolio to support a continuum of activities from component research, through to farm systems and demonstration.



Professor Chad Hewitt


Professor Hewitt holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley (USA) in both Biology and Fine Arts, and a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Oregon (USA). He held one of the US Department of Energy Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowships which he undertook at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

He has worked in academic, government and research sectors with experience as Director, Head of School, Dean, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for various Universities in Australia and New Zealand. He originally moved to Australasia to take up a role at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) as Leader of the Invasion Processes Group at the Centre for Research on Introduced Marine Pests (CRIMP) in 1996. He was appointed as the New Zealand Chief Technical Officer – Marine Biosecurity in 2003 and was responsible for the management and implementation of the biosecurity system in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone.

Professor Hewitt’s research portfolio revolves around the role humans’ play in changing the natural world and how natural science can influence management and policy. His research has primarily focused on biosecurity - how humans have transferred species around the globe, the consequences of those movements in ecological, evolutionary and economic contexts, and the ways that we can predict, prevent and/or mitigate the impacts of these novel species.


Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Māori and Pasifika

 (Vacant - see Director Office of Māori and Pasifika Development


Damian Lodge

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Life

Damian has been working in universities for almost 30 years in a range of academic and professional roles. He is a highly experienced educator, specialising in online delivery with large domestic and international cohorts. His education background is in information science which has developed into a passion to understand how universities support learning, teaching and research, and drive student success. Damian has worked in universities across both islands in New Zealand and three states in Australia. He re-joins Lincoln University after a 3.5 year gap.





Susie Roulston

Chief Operating Officer

Susie Roulston was appointed Chief Operating Officer at Lincoln University in August 2021.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce with First Class Honours from University of Canterbury, and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Susie’s entire previous career has been with EY, where she initially worked on large scale insurance claims following the Christchurch earthquakes, then moved on to Feasibility Studies contracted to CERA on the seven large Anchor Projects, to more recently working mainly in the health sector on similar projects. She has also worked closely on the Te Pūkenga Programme. Her most recent position at EY was as Infrastructure and Advisory Services Director.

Karen McEwan

Executive Director - People, Culture and Wellbeing

Karen McEwen is an experienced senior executive and HR practitioner with a 15+ year career in People, Culture and Wellbeing within the tertiary sector. Previously at Victoria University of Wellington, she joined the Lincoln University Senior Leadership team in 2018.

Prior to joining the tertiary sector, Karen had several years’ HR experience in senior roles across complex environments including education, health, private manufacturing and the New Zealand wine Industry.

Karen currently chairs the University New Zealand HR Directorate committee. 

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