NZBRI Board Members

These are the current directors of New Zealand Brain Research Ltd, who serve voluntarily to provide guidance to the Institute.

Board Members

Dr Cheryl Doig

Chairperson - Director Think Beyond Ltd

Dr Cheryl Doig, Chairperson of the NZBRI Board, is Director of Think Beyond, an organisation focused on future leadership trends and strategic thinking. She works internationally and virtually with organisations, business leaders and educators. She combines past experience as a successful principal, with current expertise as a businesswoman and board director. Cheryl has been board chair of both NZIM and CORE Education, is a member of the Institute of Directors and serves on a number of trusts and advisory groups. She is a member of the Association for Professional Futurists and the World Futures Society.

Simon Carey


Simon is an experienced Chartered Accountant and business adviser with demonstrated expertise across privately held businesses, government and public interest entities in New Zealand and a track record in strategic planning, analysis, project management and risk management. Simon’s specialities include: Sale and purchase of business, Valuations and litigation support, Strategic planning, Business turnaround and restructure, Financing proposals, Business succession and planning.

Professor Ivan Donaldson

Independent Director - Owner Pegasus Bay Winery

Ivan was a professor of clinical neurology and a noted expert in movement disorders. He was a driving force in establishing neurological research in Christchurch and has been a strong supporter of the Institute from before its inception. He and the Donaldson family were also pioneers in establishing the now-thriving viticulture industry in Canterbury.

Professor Ian Wright

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice Chancellor - UC

Professor Ian Wright is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at University of Canterbury. He has extensive experience in research and technological leadership and management, having previously worked at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in Wellington, and eight years at the National Oceanography Centre / University of Southampton in the UK.

Professor David Murdoch

Professor David Murdoch

Dean Otago Medical School, Christchurch

Professor David Murdoch is Dean and Head of Campus of the University of Otago, Christchurch. An infectious diseases expert, David was previously Head of the School’s Department of Pathology for 14 years and has been a Clinical Microbiologist for the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) since 2000

Mr Richard Sudell

Richard Sudell

Board Member

Richard moved to Christchurch in 2013 with his wife Anthea and 3 boys, Freddie, William and Hugo.  He provides commercial, capital works and transaction advisory services to both public and private sector clients.  He was a founding director of Trinity MRI, a specialist neuro-MRI facility in Auckland and FoodCap International, where he helped to commercialise the FoodCap System, a turn-key integrated supply chain solution for the processing and distribution of retail ready meat.  He has worked with the Manukau Urban Maori Authority and was on the establishment committee for the Hone Tuwhare Charitable Trust, a charity dedicated to the preservation, promotion and celebration of the work of Hone Tuwhare. 

Ms Virginia Spoors

Virginia Spoors

Board Member

Virginia Spoors has 25 years of experience within the health sector, in workforce development, quality and leadership roles. For the past eight years she has lead a not -for -profit service within the disability sector for people with high and complex physical and neurological needs. This has included expansion of services in the community for clients living with complex disabilities, a new 6 bed transitional rehabilitation unit for clients with stroke, spinal or brain injury, and the development of a new Rehabilitation and Therapy service for people with neurological conditions

Geoff Cranko

Board Member

Geoff has been developing and managing companies for 30 years. His career has seen him work on every continent leading teams of up to 1500 people. As Strategy’s Group Managing Partner, he provides clear thinking and offers straight talking business experience to help clients align their business strategy, with compelling and effective communications.
Along with facilitating, managing and developing the growth of the Strategy Group of companies, Geoff sits on several boards of private companies. He is also the Chair of the World Buskers Festival and a Trustee of the CPIT Foundation.
He is happily married to Andrea with two amazing daughters, Toni and Monique.