UniServices Executive Leadership Team

Dr Andy Shenk
Dr Andy Shenk
Chief Executive Officer

PhD. For the first ten years of Andy's career he was an academic at the University of Delaware, Yale University and U.C. Irvine before joining New Zealand company Genesis Research and Development Corporation Ltd. After seven years in research and senior management positions at Genesis, Andy moved to Fonterra where he held a variety of senior positions in research strategy, venture investment and most recently as Chief Scientist. 

During his time at Fonterra, Andy was a Director and Chairman of Lactopharma, a joint venture company owned by Fonterra and Auckland UniServices Ltd, and he served as Fonterra's Board representative on a number of new spin-out companies. Andy holds a BSc in Biology from Rhodes College and a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware.

Debbie Peri
Debbie Peri
Executive Director Business Units

MInstD, LLB (Auck), BA(Hons) Harv. Debbie joined UniServices in March 2016 and brings with her a wealth of experience from large blue-chip organisations.

Debbie’s early career focussed on commercial management positions with UnitedNetworks Ltd (now Vector), Siemens Energy Services, Telecom and Vodafone.  In these roles she led a number of large commercial negotiations and process improvement projects.  In 2009, Debbie joined Fonterra and, over the following six years, led teams and large global programmes in IT, procurement, strategic change, dairy development and corporate social responsibility.  

Originally from Auckland, Debbie completed her high schooling on a 2-year International Baccalaureate UWC scholarship in the USA.  She then gained a further scholarship to Harvard University, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Social Anthropology with Magna Cum Laude Honors.  Returning to New Zealand, she later completed a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Auckland, and is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Debbie is of Tainui (Ngati Raukawa), Te Arawa and Italian descent.

Will Charles
Will Charles
Executive Director Commercialisation

Will Charles has been General Manager Commercialisation since 2005. During this time UniServices has transacted over 165 licensing deals, started 30 companies and raised over $50 million in venture and seed funding for these companies, and has successfully exited a number of these. 

He set up the TransTasman Commercialisation Fund, a A$30 million seed fund with four Australian Universities and sat on the Investment Committee of the fund.  He is a director of a number of start-up companies.  He also set up and is responsible for the direction of Return on Science which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Economic Development’s Commercialisation Partner Network. He has been a speaker at a number of international Technology Transfer events including the Association of Technology Managers in the US (AUTM) and BioEurope.

Previously, Will has had extensive senior commercial experience in businesses in Europe, Asia and New Zealand where he has held executive positions at a number of companies including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Celltech and Wolters Kluwer.

Kerry Price
Kerry Price
Executive Director Government and Industry

Kerry has been with UniServices since 2008. With over 22 years’ experience in public and population health he has a passion for identifying and developing partnership opportunities with organisations and government which utilise the wealth of research capability and experience at The University of Auckland to improve health outcomes for populations within New Zealand and around the world.

Mike Dunshea
Mike Dunshea
Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Role leads Contract Management, Business and Information Systems, Portfolio Research, Funds and Submissions, People and Culture, Communications, and Finance.  These teams provide a diverse and highly competent range of skills and experience that help support UniServices deliver top quality services to its clients and stakeholders. 

Mike’s experience is as a General Manager and Chartered Accountant with a broad background in finance, IT, facilities and sales working at governance and board level within commercial and professional services organisations in New Zealand, England and Luxembourg. Mike’s immediate past role was as CFO/National Director Management Services at Grant Thornton with responsibility for operational management and the implementation of operations strategy.

Dr Lisbeth Jacobs
Dr Lisbeth Jacobs
Executive Director International

MInstD, PhD Eng, MSc Eng (Hons), PGDipBusMgt, Executive General Management from CEDEP-INSEAD, Paris. 

Together with her team, Lisbeth is responsible for the portfolio of international activities of UniServices, which includes all private and public good research, consulting and service activities of UniServices outside of New Zealand. UniServices has a wide range of international activities including in the health, the science & engineering and the education areas. The team serves large multinational clients as well as different government agencies and companies in North Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the USA.

Before joining UniServices in 2014, Lisbeth spent 18 months with The Icehouse as Director Strategy. Before coming back to New Zealand, Lisbeth spent nearly 14 years with Bekaert, global market leader in steel wire and steel cord products headquartered in Belgium, employing 27,000 people worldwide and serving customers in 120 countries. 

At Bekaert Lisbeth held a variety of senior roles including in corporate strategy, business development, human resources and research & development. During her last years with the company, Lisbeth was Director Research & Development based in Jiangjin, China and was responsible for a 100+ team of R&D managers across the Bekaert Technology Centers in China and Belgium.

In 2013 Lisbeth was appointed to the board of Wellington Drive Technologies as non-executive director. Also in 2013 Lisbeth was appointed Honorary Consul of Belgium.