Murray Bruges is the Executive Director of the Helen Clark Foundation. Prior to the Foundation, Murray worked for Fonterra Co-operative Group in Auckland on resource management and environmental policy. From 2011 to 2020, Murray worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a range of roles focused on trade, economic, tech and climate policy, including a three year posting to the New Zealand Consulate General in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, Murray worked for the Ministry of Fisheries on a range of policy issues. He lives in Auckland with his wife and son.
The Helen Clark Foundation is led by our Executive Director Murray Bruges, and is overseen by an independent Board of Trustees.
Deputy Director and WSP Fellow
Kali Mercier is the WSP Fellow and Deputy Director of the Helen Clark Foundation. She is passionate about social justice and improving public well-being through policy reform.
Kali has an extensive background in law, policy, and international development, which has taken her to Berlin, London, Mexico City and Botswana. She has an LLB (Hons) majoring in international law, a BA in French and German, and a Masters in International Development Studies. Before coming to the Helen Clark Foundation, Kali worked as Principal Advisor at the Ministry of Justice, Policy Director at the NZ Drug Foundation and as a human rights advocate for Amnesty UK and other charities overseas.
See all of Kali's work
Communications and Outreach Director
Maria Ahmad is the Communications & Outreach Director for the Helen Clark Foundation.
Maria is dedicated to the causes of refugee education and wellbeing, and improving global and local governance practices through equitable social policies. She is currently a researcher and doctoral candidate in Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work.
Tom Pearce is the Web Manager for the Helen Clark Foundation.
Tom is a doctoral student in the Critical Studies in Education department at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work. He has a background in Primary School Education going back more than ten years, and has worked at schools in Pōneke, Tāmaki Makaurau and overseas. He completed a BA and PGDipTchg (Primary) through the University of Auckland, and an MEd through Victoria University of Wellington. Tom lives in Tāmaki Makaurau with his partner and two young children.
Advisor Māori to the Executive Director
Professor Peter Davis
Dr Peter Davis is Chair of the Board of the Helen Clark Foundation. He is an Emeritus Professor in Population Health and Social Science in the Faculty of Arts, and an Honorary Professor in the Department of Statistics in the Faculty of Science, at The University of Auckland. Dr Davis is serving as an elected member of the Auckland District Health Board during the 2019-2022 term.
Dr. Hinemoa Elder
Dr Hinemoa Elder is of Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupouri, Te Rarawa and Ngāpuhi descent. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and has been a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist since 2006 currently working in community services and writing forensic reports for the courts. Hinemoa is a member of the NZ Mental Health Review Tribunal. She completed her PhD (Massey University) in 2012 and was an HRC Eru Pomare Post Doctoral Fellow 2014-2018. Hinemoa continues to be involved in research in the areas of traumatic brain injury, stroke and dementia.
Hinemoa is an advocate for use of Te Reo Māori and is a graduate of Te Pīnakitanga ki te Reo Kairangi, rangapū tuarima (Te Wānanga o Aotearoa). Hinemoa received the NZ Order of Merit for services to Māori and Psychiatry in 2019. She is an alumni of the “Homeward Bound Project”, a global women in science leadership programme. Hinemoa is the author of best selling book, “Aroha. Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet” (Penguin Random House 2020).
Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni
Dr Tamasailau Suaalii-Sauni (known informally as Sailau) is an Associate Professor in the Criminology Programme, School of Social Sciences, University of Auckland. Tamasailau has also held honorary and part-time senior researcher and programme evaluator roles in the state and private sectors, is a current Commissioner on the Criminal Cases Review Commission and served on the expert advisory panel to the NZ Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor for the cannabis referendum. She is of Samoan and Tongan descent, is a leader in the Pacific academy, and champions Indigenous Pacific values-led research and evaluation.
Rajen Prasad served as a Member of the New Zealand Parliament from 2008 to 2014. Prior to joining parliament, Rajen was Aotearoa New Zealand’s race relations conciliator from 1996 to 2001, and the founding Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission from 2004 to 2008.
Simon Mitchell is a King’s Counsel and litigation lawyer and based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Simon specialises in family and employment law and regularly appears in the Family Court and all of the employment institutions including the Mediation Service, Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court and Court of Appeal.
Helen Klisser During
Helen Klisser During is an art advisor, curator, and photojournalist who has championed global art projects for over 25 years. Recognised by KEA as a World Class New Zealander, she creates, documents, and fosters cultural exchange to promote understanding and address issues of social justice. An art world insider, Helen nurtures relationships among individuals and institutions to create significant cultural initiatives. Helen is committed to facilitating partnerships and cultivating connectivity using her extensive global networks.
Helen serves as Ambassador to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at Auckland University of Technology, where she has co-founded the AUT Art Science Lab, a dynamic cross-pollination space where multidisciplinary artists, innovators and industry experts combine to solve real-world challenges.
Helen has directed and produced numerous large-scale arts programmes including #UNLOAD: Arts Trigger a Conversation, a foundation to promote conversation through the arts and education around the issue of gun violence in America, and Voices for the Future, an immersive art installation by Joseph Michael which projected collapsing icebergs onto the United Nations General Assembly and Secretariat buildings in NYC ahead of the UN’s Climate Action Summit and global school strikes in 2019.
Geoff has nearly 50 years experience in the management of private clients’ assets, trusts, and compliance, and has held senior positions at a number of NZ trust and company service providers. Geoff has also participated actively in the formation and administration of a number of NZ charitable entities, for which he is currently the Treasurer.