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Our leadership team

Our senior management team manage the day-to-day activities of the organisation.

Clive Nelson, chief executive Heart Foundation New ZealandClive Nelson joined the Heart Foundation as Chief Executive in August 2019.

An experienced leader of people, Clive brings established networks and a track record of partnership, collaboration and innovation to New Zealand’s heart health charity.

Prior to joining the Heart Foundation, Clive was the Chief Executive of the government’s Health Promotion Agency for seven years from its creation in 2012. He has previously held executive and general management roles in the public and private sectors, including positions with Watercare Services Limited, the Auckland Transition Agency and Fairfax New Zealand.

Clive is MBA-qualified and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors. Outside of work his interests include his family, cooking and travel.

With 30 years of brand, marketing and fundraising experience in the commercial and for-purpose sectors, Alison Wheatley-Mahon joined the Heart Foundation in January 2017 to lead and strengthen the organisation's fundraising performance, key partnerships and engagement strategies. Alison is driven by the desire to achieve social profit success through connecting consumers with their cause that is closest to their hearts. She is passionate about growing and leading a fundraising-centric organisational culture which delivers truly sustainable long-term results for the Heart Foundation.

Alison and her husband have a busy family life with two teenage daughters and fur babies. This sees her combine her key interests - her love of marathon running, travel and shopping by participating in international marathons in major cities like London, Paris and New York.

Debbie joined the Heart Foundation as the Head of Care and Support in February 2023. As an experienced leader with a strong background in the health sector, Debbie brings a high level of operational management skills to the organisation.

Most recently, holding the position of Head of Practice Operations – Health Services at ProCare, Debbie built strong relationships, trust and engagement with local providers and communities. She has also held positions at the Waitematā District Health Board, including General Manager, Surgical Services and General Manager, Medicine & Health of Older People.

Debbie will continue to deliver our strategic plan through motivational leadership while building effective relationships with key partners, public and private.

Outside of work, Debbie enjoys working with her partner to develop their lifestyle block, planting native trees and plants and spending time riding her horses.

BrianBrian joined the Heart Foundation in September 2018 and was appointed Head of Marketing and Communications in July 2020. He has 30 years’ experience in senior marketing and communications and strategic development roles across both commercial and charitable sectors. This includes positions with St John, Castrol New Zealand, Castrol Australia, and BP Australasia. An early grounding in consumer marketing drove Brian’s passion for understanding and delivering to consumer needs and preferences and growing strong brands.

Brian is a keen follower of most sports, enjoys listening to music – though can’t play a note – and catching up with family and friends.

Justine MunroJustine began her career as an early childhood educator, working both in New Zealand and the UK.

She subsequently graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition and has enjoyed incorporating this alongside her earlier work in the education sector in her role.

Now with her own children in school, Justine has a personal and professional passion for creating education environments which promote healthy eating and physical activity for children, young people and their whānau. 

Mark SimpsonMark Simpson began his role as Head of Shared Services in 2020, after serving as Chief Financial Officer since 2016. With a commercial finance background spanning more than 30 years – including KPMG, Banking and Finance, Human Resources and IT company EROAD – Mark enjoys new challenges and has found the move to a social profit organisation exciting. He particularly enjoys making a difference and adding value.

He and his wife have two daughters, both now in their 20s. Travel and sport are his passion.

Our Evidence and Advisory group provide strategic advice and specialist knowledge in key areas.

Gerry Devlin

Gerry is the current Medical Director of the Heart Foundation and the Clinical leader of the New Zealand cardiac network. He is an Honorary Associate Professor with the University of Auckland.

Having worked as a Cardiologist and Interventionalist for 22 years at Waikato DHB, Gerry moved at the end of 2018 to take up a new challenge as a Cardiologist in Gisborne.

Gerry is an experienced general cardiologist, with a special interest in the prevention and management of coronary artery disease, hypertension and heart failure.

Gerry is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 1988. He successfully completed his FRACP in 1995 and is also a Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. He became a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology in 2012 and completed an MD thesis with the University of Auckland in 2013.

Gerry is a busy clinical researcher with over 100 publications. Research interests include acute coronary syndromes, heart failure and systems of care.  

CollinAssociate Professor Sir Collin Tukuitonga is a public health medicine specialist with extensive experience in public policy, research and public health in New Zealand, the Pacific region and internationally. He was the Director General of the Pacific Community based in New Caledonia for seven years until December 2019.

Alongside his role at the Heart Foundation, Sir Collin is the government appointee to the NZ Health Quality & Safety Commission board and a member of the NZ College of Public Health Medicine Council.

He’s a Niuean New Zealander and a strong advocate for improving health and wellbeing of Pacific people.

Kataraina is of Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine and is extremely passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of whānau, hapū and iwi in Aotearoa.

Kataraina brings a wealth of knowledge to the Heart Foundation with over 15 years' experience in the health sector. She’s also the Head of Design at Maurea Consulting, with her passion for good service design creating positive outcomes for Māori.

She also has a strong passion for ensuring a culturally responsive way of being and working, particularly for Ngai Māori. She combines design thinking methodologies with Māori knowledge to provide leadership and direction to issues facing Māori.

Dave Monro, Food and Nutrition Manager Heart Foundation New ZealandDave has a Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and a Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics. He is responsible for overseeing the Foundation's food and nutrition work, including position statements and a range of partnership-related projects that support New Zealanders to have a healthier lifestyle.

A father of three, he enjoys being active, especially running, and is regularly involved in his children’s sports.

Dave has a passion for keeping things real when it comes to food and nutrition and is keen on developing practical initiatives that support families to improve their heart health.