News 27 Oct 2017
Increasing stakeholder value through the provision of sustainably tangible economic growth initiatives is the key focus for new Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Chief Executive Officer Craig Strong.
Craig begins his new role at PCF on October 30 having recently left Suva, Fiji – his base for the past 11 years.
There he held general management positions of significant Fijian trading companies, and most recently as General Manager of Pacific Agencies (Fiji) Limited.
The new CEO will take over twenty years of private sector commercial management experience in NZ and Fiji into his role at PCF.
He also has extensive board governance experience having served on the boards of commercial, government and not for profit organisations in Fiji.
“I bring practical experience developing public/private partnerships in the Pacific region through my work as President of the Fiji NZ Business Council, my Chairmanship of the Fiji Export Council, the Fiji Ship Owners and Agents Association and the Friends of Fiji Heart Foundation as well as my Board Memberships of the Fiji Australia Business Council, Fiji Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation,” Craig says.
Craig, who was born and raised in Suva, but educated at Auckland’s Kings College and Massey University in Palmerston North (graduating with a Bachelor of Business Studies), knows NZ well.
While Craig and his family only recently returned to NZ, he says they have all settled back into life here easily, as it is essentially his second home.
Apart from his commercial leadership and governance experience, Craig says one of the unique things about him as a leader is his ability to "pragmatically contextualise" issues and opportunities.
“This trait is not only due to my Pasifika heritage but more over my experiences living and working both in Aotearoa and Fiji.
“This allows me to view the world through the lens of a Pasifika New Zealander looking out towards the region as well as a Pacific Islander looking outwards towards New Zealand.”
Craig is looking forward to leading PCF over the next period, and facing current issues throughout the region head-on.
“The issues surrounding economic prosperity in the region are evolving swiftly.
“Traditional regional conversations such as transport and shipping are being replaced with discussions about labour mobility, technology and connectivity, economic adaptation to climate change and business resilience.
“The opportunity for PCF is to ensure we are at the forefront of the solution development process as these issues present themselves.”
Craig takes over the CEO role at PCF from Laulu Mac Leauanae, who left the Foundation earlier this year to take up the Chief Executive position at the Ministry of Pacific Peoples.