Executive Leadership Team

Executive Leadership Team

Last updated 14 September 2020
Last updated 14 September 2020

Our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) provides advice and information to the Board of Commissioners and to our Ministers.

Board of Commissioners

Minister of Education

Our ELT:

  • is responsible for our performance and the outcomes we achieve
  • meets weekly to discuss organisational issues and risks, and make decisions on our strategy, policy and practice
  • the ELT provides advice and information to the Board of Commissioners and to our Ministers.

Tim Fowler, Chief Executive

“I'm truly privileged to do this job. I get to work with a superb group of people in a sector that makes a real difference to New Zealand and New Zealanders.”

Tim has been our Chief Executive since April 2013. He was previously Deputy Chief Executive, Quality Assurance at the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Tim has held leadership positions in Australia and New Zealand in both the private and university sectors, after starting his career in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Tim has an Honours Degree from Victoria University of Wellington, a Masters from the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii, and executive education from INSEAD and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mathew Pawley, Deputy Chief Executive, Information Directorate

Mathew Pawley

Mathew joined the TEC from the tertiary sector where he was Executive Director – Digital Services and Enterprise Projects at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, for the past five years. His area of responsibility included courseware development, IT service operations, applications development, infrastructure provision and Enterprise Project delivery for the Open Polytechnic’s 450 staff and over 32,000 customers. 

Mathew has a good understanding of the importance and complexities of the information needs of the tertiary sector in New Zealand. He is passionate about education and contributing to TECs vision of a resilient, prosperous New Zealand.

John Soulis, Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate and Finance Directorate

“My first impression of the TEC is of an organisation with focused and enthusiastic people who are passionate about making a positive difference to the tertiary education sector in New Zealand.” 

John Soulis, Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate and Finance Directorate

As our Deputy Chief Executive Corporate and Finance, John has oversight of a large financial management function, including external auditing of tertiary education organisations. His team coordinates and manages TEC human resources, organisational planning and performance, project management and accountability documents including our Statement of Intent and Annual Report.

John joined TEC in 2016 from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), where he was Manager of the Strategic Finance team and Capital Portfolio Office for three years. He developed MBIE’s first Strategic Financial Plan, which was the basis for forecasting the Ministry’s financial position.

A CA qualified accountant, John has over 25 years’ experience in financial services, banking and telecommunications.

Paora Ammunson, Deputy Chief Executive, Learner Success Ōritetanga Directorate

“All New Zealanders are descended from explorers, designers, innovators, engineers and risk takers. Excellence and achievement runs in our blood, strengthening relationships between TEC and communities across Aotearoa is key to future learning achievement”

  Paora Ammunson, Deputy Chief Executive, Learner Success - Ōritetanga Directorate

Bringing significant experience on the governance boards of tribal, government, farming, sporting and commercial bodies, Paora has operated his own management consultancy business since 1998.

Playing a leadership role in key government initiatives over many years, such as the Rugby World Cup and APEC leaders forum, he chaired the Wairarapa Rugby Union until this year and was recently elected to the South Wairarapa District Council.

Of Ngati Kahungunu, Rangitane ki Wairarapa and Te Arawa whakapapa, Paora has served his family marae in Greytown since the 1980s.

Gillian Dudgeon, Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery Directorate

“I am excited and privileged to be part of a team which is focused on improving the lifelong learning experiences of every New Zealander.” 

 Gillian Dudgeon, Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery Directorate

As Deputy Chief Executive of our Delivery Directorate, Gillian oversees our customer-facing unit, and leads the teams responsible for implementation and delivery of our products and services, relationship management, negotiation, performance management and monitoring. 

Gillian joined TEC in July 2018, and prior to this she spent four years with the Earthquake Commission as their Chief Risk Officer and led the Internal Partners team. She has also held executive roles at ANZ and the National Bank across customer-facing, product management, IT and risk management teams.

Ian Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Design Directorate

“I am passionate about TEC’s mission to help people build great lives, and its focus on parity – it is critical we get the balance right for the benefit of all New Zealanders.” 

Ian Lee, Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Design

As Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Design, Ian ensures that TEC has a strategic approach to its role in the tertiary education sector. He leads the development of TEC’s long- and short-term operational strategies, and strategic marketing and communications functions. He also leads the development of products and services that enhance life-long education and career choices that support the Tertiary Education Strategy.

Ian joined TEC from Air New Zealand where he was Strategy Manager, Networks & Competitor Analysis. He led a team responsible for developing Air New Zealand's longer-term network strategy and growth plan, driving unprecedented growth and opening new markets to Singapore, Buenos Aires, Houston, Ho Chi Minh, Taipei, and most recently Chicago.