Cathy Foley Appointed Next Chief Scientist

November 8, 2020 Updated: November 8, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has appointed physicist Dr. Cathy Foley as Australia’s next chief scientist.

Foley will begin her three-year term in January, taking over from Alan Finkel when his five-year tenure ends in December.

Morrison told reporters on Monday that Foley will carry on Finkel’s work “in her own style.”

Foley has spent the last two years as the chief scientist at the CSIRO—an Australian government agency responsible for scientific research. She was the second woman appointed to the role after working with the agency in various capacities for many years.

Morrison said that the role of chief scientist had never been more critical as Australia recovered from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus (novel coronavirus).

“Dr. Foley has a big task ahead to drive collaboration between industry and the science and research community, as we look to create jobs for the COVID-19 recovery and for the future,” Morrison said.

Foley thanked the prime minister for her new appointment and for the chance to serve Australia in helping the government address its challenges.

“I hope that I’m going to be in a position to support the government to find the best information, the best knowledge across the science sector in Australia,” Foley said.

She also wants to encourage young people to consider science, technology, and maths as a career path.

Creating jobs was the focus of discussions by Morrison and Foley when they visited the Illawarra on Sept. 17.

The pair, along with Senator Concetta Fieranti-Wells and Energy Minister Angus Taylor, visited BlueScope, an international technology company where the prime minister announced a $1.9 billion investment into ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Fund.

The prime minister said at the time that they had outlined “a very big plan” for Australia’s energy future, “which means jobs right across Australia.”

AAP contributed to this report.

Follow Caden on Twitter: @cadenpearson