Our people

A diverse, yet like-minded, group of passionate individuals have teamed up to form the SIU.

With a shared goal of wanting to make a difference, this dynamic team is writing the book (literally) on how to implement the social investment approach. They're also creating the tools and supporting guidance to help make it a reality.

Representing many corners of the globe, the team's blend of qualifications, experience and ability to think outside of the box are essential to the success of the SIU's cutting-edge work.

Going where no one has gone before are: statisticians, aeronautical engineers, enterprise architects, lawyers (not to be confused with baristas – there's two of them), social sector privacy gurus, data scientists, mathematicians, policy analysts, business analysts, coders, administrators and communicators, who interpret the technical stuff.

Leadership team

Dorothy Adams, Lead

Image of Dorothy Adams

Dorothy has headed the SIU since it was established in July 2015. Before taking up this role she was GM Insights, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), responsible for leading their data, analytics and evidence hub.

Prior to joining the Ministry in 2008, Dorothy worked in local government for 10 years specialising in policy and governance, with her most recent role being Manager, Strategic Development at Hutt City Council. Dorothy has also held senior roles in the Department of Labour, NZ Employment Service and was an advisor to the Minister of Employment.

Dorothy has a Master of Public Administration from Monash University and an LLB from Victoria University of Wellington. She is an Enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Wellington.

Edward (Ed) Montague, Investment Advice and Commissioning Lead

Image of Ed Montague

Ed joined the SIU in March 2016. He was previously a Principal Advisor at the NZ Treasury where he acted as their lead on the social impact bonds pilots and other related initiatives.

Prior to joining the Treasury in 2013, Ed was a Director in the Finance & Economics practice at PwC NZ where he specialised in providing commercial advice to wide range of government agencies.

Before moving to New Zealand in 2010, Ed spent five years as an investment analyst at a London-based hedge fund, IBIS Capital Partners LLP. Ed’s investment experience builds on his early career as a management consultant at Arthur D. Little, Strategy Advisor at the UK communications regulator, OFCOM, and Strategy Manager at the global telecommunications company, O2 Telefonica.

Ed has a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from Oxford University.

About Investment Advice.

Peter Ellis, Evidence and Insights Lead

Peter Ellis, Evidence & Insights Lead

Peter joined the SIU on secondment in April 2017.  He is a passionate data scientist and public servant with a track record of managing teams through change; whether working on aid management in Timor Leste, or economic data with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 

Previous roles have included Director of Program Evaluation for the Australian government aid program, and Manager Sector Trends at MBIE. At MBIE his team’s achievements included transforming New Zealand’s official tourism statistics, modelling new estimates of gross domestic product at the district and city level, and innovations in data presentation through web-apps like the Regional Economic Activity tools (external link) and the New Zealand tourism dashboard (external link) .

Peter has a Master of Applied Statistics from the Australian National University, a Master of Development Studies from Murdoch University, and a Bachelor of Music from Edith Cowan University. He is an advocate of open data and reproducible analysis.

About Evidence and Insights.

Emily Mason, Analytical Products Lead

Image of Emily MasonEmily is passionate about bridging the gap between data science and policymaking to help those in the social sector learn 'what works for whom, at what cost'. This focus is the result of 15 years’ experience in policy and analytics teams working to turn data into useful information for decision-making.

Having worked in strategic and operational roles across central government, Emily is a thought leader in the use of data science to build a fairer and more evidence-based social sector.

Currently investigating how data and analytics can better inform decision-making from the front-line to the Beehive, past roles include the Ministry of Education, ACC and Statistics NZ.

Emily has an MPP from Victoria University (VUW) and was awarded the Prime Minister’s Public Policy Prize (VUW) in 2004.

About the Social Investment Analytical Layer (SIAL) and Social Investment Measurement Map (SIMM).

Danny Mollan, Data Infrastructure Lead

Image of Danny MollanDanny joined the SIU as Infrastructure team Lead in February 2017.

With more than 26 years’ experience as an ICT consultant, Danny has held a range of roles in the public sector. Most recently these include: Service Design Lead at the Ministry of Justice, Director of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) and Programme Architect on the Immigration Global Management System.

Before moving to New Zealand from the UK in the late 90s, Danny was Technical Lead at Cap Gemini, working on a number of commercial systems. His early career included working as a programmer, database designer and database administrator.

Danny has a degree in Pure Mathematics and a Masters in Information Technology, from University College London.

About Data Infrastructure and Data Exchange.

Kirsten Stephenson, Corporate Lead

Image of Kirsten StephensonKirsten became Corporate Lead of the SIU in April 2016.

She has held various management roles, including project/programme management, within The Treasury, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Labour and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Previous work within the wider social investment programme includes Programme Manager for the Social Investment work stream focussing on at-risk family/whānau with children aged 0-5 (0-5 Review), led by the Ministry of Health.

Alistair Mason, Principal Advisor

Image of Alistair MasonAlistair joined the SIU in July 2015.

During many years in the Beehive working for a variety of Minister’s largely covering social portfolios, this insight into Ministerial decision-making gave Alistair a passion for social investment.

This experience also highlighted the need for decision-makers to get better information so they can make informed decisions about what social services are available to those who need them.

Alistair has an extensive background in public relations, having worked for some of the world’s leading PR firms in London, Hong Kong, the UAE and Wellington.

About Evidence and Insights.


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