The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji has appointed Michael Macdonald Bartlett as its new Chief Executive.
He takes over from Mr. Surend Pratap who held the role for almost three years in an acting capacity.
In a statement, the BAF said that Mr Bartlett’s was appointed after a rigorous merit-based interview process.
“I am very privileged to join the BAF team and am extremely thankful for the warm welcome and hospitality all Fijians have afforded me thus far. The Bula spirit is alive and well in Fiji!”
During his welcome, Mr Bartlett stressed the importance of BAF, which serves the vital function of keeping Fiji safe from a myriad of old and new threats created by a globalized economy.
“The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji is critical in the front-line defence of Fiji’s diverse and precious natural environment, domestic agribusiness and industry, tourism, foreign trade, and global support services,” he said.
“With persistent and evolving threats on our doorstep, constant vigilance is paramount. Capacity building, educational programmes, and community extension services are core to Fijian biosecurity.”
Mr Bartlett also spoke on how defending Fiji’s borders is only part of BAF’s responsibilities.
“BAF also plays an important role in helping its myriad of Fijian and international stakeholders to improve the lives of Fijians, which is why promoting and facilitating international trade and economic development for our stakeholders are important pillars of BAF’s responsibilities. We have a responsibility to analyse our current operational systems, look for impediments that unnecessarily increase transactional costs and decrease efficiencies, look for remedies, and where appropriate, implement the same. However, this would not be at the expense of biosecurity safety, which remains our key priority.”
A Harvard alumnus, Mr. Bartlett comes into the role with 17 years of experience in executive leadership in large agri-businesses, agricultural research, and fast-moving consumer-good companies across three continents. He has a record of achievements in green field and brown field startups, business development, new venture creation, and global trade, strategic management, change management, agricultural research, quality control, and most importantly, biosecurity and business operations.
Most recently, he was responsible for managing and controlling business operations in the research sector in twenty-one countries in Central Asia, Africa, Southern Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Mr Bartlett is an avid rugby fan and a veteran player himself, he looks forward to enjoying his hobby with Fijians.