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Our Board

CRDC has an eight-member Board, consisting of a Chair (appointed by the Minister for Agriculture), the Executive Director (selected by the Board) and six non-executive Directors nominated by an independent Selection Committee.

Appointment of non-executive Directors is subject to Ministerial approval and directors (other than the Executive Director) are appointed for three-year terms.

Mr Richard Haire - Chair (FAICD, FAIM)

Mr Haire has held many leadership positions within the cotton industry, most recently as Managing Director and regional head of Olam International, a global leader in the supply chain management of agricultural products and food ingredients. He was formerly the Chief Executive of Queensland Cotton Corporation Pty Ltd and a member of the Rabo Australia Food and Agribusiness Advisory Board. Mr Haire is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. He formerly served as a Director on the CRDC board from 2011 to 2014. 

Appointed: 29/08/2016 until 29/08/2019
Reappointed: 29/08/2019 until 29/08/2022


Dr Ian Taylor - Executive Director BAppSc, PhD

Dr Taylor has extensive experience across the cotton RD&E pipeline, having worked as a researcher specialising in integrated weed management before progressing to management positions within the cotton industry’s extension program, CottonInfo and CRDC. Prior to being appointed Executive Director, Dr Taylor performed the role of CRDC’s General Manager of R&D Investments for five years, overseeing CRDC’s investment in cotton RD&E to deliver impact, and leading the development of the CRDC Strategic RD&E Plan 2018–23.

Dr Taylor holds BAppSc and PhD degrees from The University of Queensland, is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, and is Deputy Chair of the Summit Community Services board. He has extensive stakeholder management, strategy development, leadership and governance experience, combined with national and international networks, in part from his time as the Technology Development Lead and Asia-Pacific Technical and Stewardship Lead with Monsanto. In his former career, Dr Taylor was an avionics technician in the Australian Defence Force, where he developed a sound understanding of digital and advanced complex systems.

Appointed: 7 March 2019 by virtue of his appointment as Executive Director of CRDC. Dr Taylor was acting Executive Director from January to March 2019. He attends the Audit, Intellectual Property and Remuneration Committees as an observer.


Ms Kathryn Adams - Deputy Chair B.Sc.Agr (Hons), LLM, M.Bus, M.Env.Stud, Grad Dip Leg Pract, Prof Cert Arbitration, Practitioners Cert Mediation & Conciliation, FAICD 

Ms Adams is a microbiologist and lawyer and specialises in intellectual property management, commercial/industry application of R&D and corporate governance. She has had extensive experience in R&D investment from the perspective of a researcher, Director of a research institute and an investor.  She has been a practicing lawyer and was also the first Registrar of Plant Breeder's Rights in Australia.  

Ms Adams was on the Board of the Cotton CRC and is currently on the Boards of a number of CRCs as well as Agriculture Victoria Services Pty Ltd, and PBIP Ltd. She is a member of the R&D Tax Incentives Committee of AusIndustry, an adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA, Griffith Law School) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Appointed: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.


Mrs Elizabeth (Liz) Alexander BA, M Rur.Sys.Mgt, GAICD

Mrs Alexander specialises in finding collaborative and innovative solutions for regional challenges. She is the Agribusiness Development Coordinator for the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) and leads CHDC’s Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness (CHAA) initiative, working with stakeholders to grow productivity and profitability for all agribusiness within the region. In her role, Liz developed and facilitates the AgTeCH events held annually in Emerald and Mungindi. She has extensive knowledge of dryland and irrigated cropping industries, and experience across natural resource management, agricultural extension and water policy.

Mrs Alexander is currently a director of Plant Health Australia. Previously, Liz was a Director of Cotton Australia and the Chair of Theodore Water, the Theodore Irrigation LMA Interim Board and Glencore’s Clermont Open Cut Mine Groundwater and Environmental Reference Group. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Rural Systems Management from the University of Queensland, is a member of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Appointed: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.

Mr Greg Kauter B.Ag.Ec. Grad.Cert Ru.Sc. GAICD

Mr Kauter is an agricultural consultant with more than 30 years of cotton industry experience. He has had extensive experience in cotton research administration and industry stewardship through roles in  crop protection, farming systems, plant variety and biotechnology research programs. He has also planned and developed extension strategies to facilitate the adoption of new technology and knowledge. He has experience with industry representative bodies in developing strategic priorities with cotton growers and industry stakeholders, identify emerging issues and developing evidence based policy responses based on sound research and information.  

Mr Kauter currently consults on cotton farm management and Best Management Practice implementation. He has been the industry representative for biosecurity through Plant Health Australia Ltd and Chair of the cotton Industry Biosecurity Group. He is a former President of the Cotton Consultants Association Inc.  

Appointed: 20/10/2014 until 30/09/2017.
Reappointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.


Dr Jeremy Burdon BSc (Hons.), PhD, Hon DSc (Umeå), FAA, FTSE, MAICD

Dr Burdon has an international reputation in evolutionary biology combining interests and expertise in ecology, epidemiology and genetics to contribute solutions to problems in a wide range of areas or agriculture, including disease control, pre-breeding, weed biology, and ecological sustainability. His research has been recognised through the award of a number of national and international awards and honours.

He has had extensive experience in research management and commercialisation leading CSIRO-Plant Industry for many years. This gave him exposure to a broad swathe of important Australian agricultural industries including cotton, grains, sugar, and various horticultural crops. Subsequently, he has served on the Board of Trustees of Bioversity International, as a director of the Grains Research & Development Corporation, a member of Sugar Research Australia’s independent Research Funding Panel, and as Chair of the Australian Academy of Science’s National Committee for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food. In that role he led the production of a Decadal Plan for Agricultural Science that was released in 2017.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.


Emeritus Professor Les Copeland AM

Professor Copeland has been conducting research and teaching in agricultural and food science in the University of Sydney for over forty years. His research on plant, grain and food chemistry, and the origins of the human diet, has resulted in over 150 publications and 34 PhD completions. He is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Farm Institute, and Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journals Cereal Chemistry and Agriculture. Professor Copeland was Chair of the Cotton Catchment Communities Participants’ Forum and a Director of the Australian Cotton and Value Added Wheat CRCs. He is a former Dean of Agriculture, and he was the Foundation President of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture. He is the immediate past President of the University of Sydney Association of Professors.

Professor Copeland holds BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has held research positions at Yale University, the University of Buffalo, the University of California in Davis, and the Australian National University. He is a Fulbright Alumnus, the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Association of Cereal Chemists-International, and has had international experience in capacity building. Emeritus Professor Copeland was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising his significant service to agricultural science as an academic and researcher.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.


Ms Rosemary Richards B.Ag.Ec, MBA

Ms Richards is an agribusiness consultant with extensive experience in broadacre cropping, in particular oilseeds and downstream processing sectors. Ms Richards is principal of Bowman Richards & Associates which undertakes strategic planning, supply chain management and trade and market access services for private companies and industry and Government organisations to support market and business growth.  

She also has extensive experience in the biotechnology sector and was actively involved in the introduction of GM canola to Australia as CEO of the Australian Oilseeds Federation. Ms Richards continues to be involved in biotechnology policy and advocacy through work with Australian and international representative organisations.

Ms Richards currently consults on trade and market access, commercialisation of biotech crops and business strategy. She is a passionate advocate for the agricultural sector and maintains close linkages with a range of agribusiness industry organisations.

Appointed: 01/10/2017 until 30/09/2020.