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 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.


Dr Lorraine Petelo

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Dr Lorraine Petelo was appointed Assistant Vice-Chancellor Learning and Teaching at Lincoln University in February 2019, and has been Chair of Academic Board since 2016. Dr Petelo’s discipline is Education, and she has worked in New Zealand universities for nearly 26 years, specialising in leadership of academic audits and facilitating academic quality assurance. Other areas of expertise include international partnerships and enabling access through pre-degree academic programmes.

In 2022 Dr Petelo was appointed Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and her portfolio expanded to include the faculties. 



Dr Dione Payne

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Māori and Pasifika

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Māori and Pasifika, Dione Payne hosts the Mātauraka Māori Theme for redesigning Māori productive landscapes, oversees Vision Mātauranga at Lincoln University and actively supports Kaupapa Māori driven rangahau with whānau, hapū and iwi.

For the past fifteen years, Dr Payne has been involved in the research and development of Māori land blocks, particularly in the North Island, with a focus on Waikato, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Whatua and Te Atihaunui a Pāpārangi. Her areas of interest are Māori land history, Māori productive landscapes, Mahika kai, Mātauraka Māori and the Māori economy. She is particularly interested in supporting whānau, hapū and iwi to utilise their land and commercial resources.


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. 


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.

Damian Lodge

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. Here-joins Lincoln University after a 3.5 year gap.

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