In an announcement befiting the 125th anniversary of Suffrage, a Kiwi-Indian woman was included as one of the two recent inclusions in the executive committee of the iconic Auckland Museum.

Jignasha Patel – a former General Manager at Air New Zealand – has been appointed as the new Director of Finance and Enterprise, along with Brad Clark who will join as Director of Transformation and Development.

A press release stating this announcement was released by War memorial on Wednesday, September 19.

Auckland Museum Chief Executive, Dr David Gaimster said the two roles are critical to progressing the Museum’s priorities.

“The Museum has long been an employer of choice for those living and working in Auckland, and that is evident in that we have been able to attract candidates of Brad and Jignasha’s calibre,” Dr Gaimster said.

“Ms Patel brings great experience and knowledge to our commercial development and financial management capability – critical features of our Five-Year Strategy. Like so many people, Ms Patel is representative of those who desire to bring strong entrepreneurial skills and insight from the corporate world to a cultural and social enterprise, where they can make a major difference.”

Originally from Fiji, Ms Patel completed her high school education in Auckland and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Auckland University.

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Ms Patel has general management experience leading diverse teams (350+ FTE), portfolios and revenue streams in multiple countries ($400m+).

Ms Patel has a track record of achievement as a leader in the corporate and consulting world, having previously been General Manager of Air New Zealand Aviation Institute and Air New Zealand Cargo.

She is currently a Board trustee for COMET, an Auckland Council CCO focussed on advancing education for Auckland. She also holds a number of governance roles with organisations such as ServiceIQ and National Council of Women New Zealand.

Ms Patel has expressed her excitement to join the Museum where she will bring her passion for connecting with people and cultures. 

"The Museum is a cultural icon that puts real credence into representing and reflecting people of all backgrounds and cultures and providing a cultural home for all Aucklanders," Ms Patel said.