New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology - NZIHT

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NZIHT Director - Barbara George

Barbara George is the Chief Executive of the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki and the sole Director of the New Zealand insitute of Highway Technology.  She was born and educated in New Plymouth and is of Ngāti Rāhiri descent.  She made her career as a leader of performing arts companies in New Zealand, the USA and Australia, most recently as Chief Executive of one of Australia’s major performing arts companies, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. But after 30 years in the performing arts, and gaining significant experience in leadership, business management and people capability, she decided to take her career in another direction, building on her life long love of learning and wanting to make a difference in the community – regionaly and nationaly.

As Chief Executive of one of New Zealand’s 18 polytechs, she leads change management in an industry that has been slow to adapt, but where it is crucial.  The changing face of education is slow at the institute and government levels, but fast at the learning level and we are running to keep up. She has an eight year old son who reminds her of this every day. It's not hard to sell the vision of high quality education.  It’s the one thing that can change an individual, a family, a community and a nation.