Chair – Robyn Baker for the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

Robyn Baker


Robyn Baker has been the Chair of the New Zealand Commission for UNESCO since late 2016. She oversees the Commission’s strategy and work programme in collaboration with the Secretariat, five Commissioners and a group of young leaders. She led the New Zealand delegation to the UNESCO General Conference in 2017 and 2019, delivering the plenary speeches on behalf of New Zealand. In 2019 the delivery of the plenary was shared with the Chair of the Youth Leaders group, Ashlee Peacock.

Robyn has considerable experience of governance, as a chief executive working to a board and as a governor. She was the Director and CEO of the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (2000-2014), a member of the Board of the Australian Council for Education Research (2006-2019) and is currently a board member of KiwiClass - Multicultural Support Services - He Amo Taunaki.

Robyn Baker’s career has been in the field of education where she has contributed as a teacher, researcher, curriculum developer, teacher educator and leader. As a science educator Robyn has been involved in many national developments, including science curriculum and environmental education initiatives. She was a member of the Royal Society Council and more recently chaired its Education Committee.

In recent years Robyn has undertaken a range of work in the education sector, including coordinating the development of the Leadership Strategy for the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand, chairing the selection and monitoring panel for the Teacher-led Innovation Fund, contributing to curriculum development initiatives within the Ministry of Education, and acting as Programme Director for the Curriculum Enhancement Programme, University of Waikato.

Robyn is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education (2015) and a recipient of the Royal Society of New Zealand Silver Science and Technology medal (2002).

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