2023 AWARD COMMENDATION
Sponsored by NZI
Kirsten Patterson CMInstD is the chief executive of the Institute of Directors. Since joining the organisation in 2017, she has championed climate action as a core component of good governance. Under her watch, climate has gone from being a non-issue to one of the top concerns for Kiwi directors.
Kirsten knows that bringing climate to the fore in governance is incredibly important if Aotearoa New Zealand is to meet its net zero aspirations. She works tirelessly to influence and motivate business and community leaders to take up the challenge.
In 2022 Kirsten drove the launch of Chapter Zero New Zealand, the local chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative. This global network seeks to mobilise and equip directors with the skills and knowledge to address climate change at board level.
Climate action is part of Kirsten’s personal commitment to sustainability. She also promotes diversity, new ideas about the future of work and the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns.
Kirsten has access to the highest levels of the business community and regularly speaks to groups as varied as industry bodies, public relations professionals, charitable organisations and private business associations.
She is an influencer whose science-based and governance-based approach to climate allows her to reach many people who otherwise might not be comfortable having a climate conversation.
As Co-deputy Chair of the Global Network of Directors Institutes, Kirsten is helping Kiwi directors understand the perspectives of their international counterparts while sharing New Zealand perspectives on the global stage.
Kirsten’s strong commitment to sustainability has led to a reimagining of what the Institute of Directors should be. This is expressed in the current vision statement to create a “strong, fair and sustainable future for New Zealand, powered by best-practice governance”.