Executive Management


Dr Andrew Jones

GEM Division


Dr Andrew Jones is a geologist by training, with nearly 20 years’ experience in developing a credible, scientific evidence base for government and private sector decision making, and he is passionate about applying this evidence based decision making to transformational development outcomes.

He is currently a Divisional Director within the Pacific Community (SPC), the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region. SPC work for the well-being of Pacific people through the effective and innovative application of science and knowledge in responding to their members’ development priorities.

Andrew shapes the strategic direction of SPC’s Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division by overseeing and ensuring provision of high quality scientific, technical and policy support for activities across a range of sectors including Resources, Energy, Oceans, Maritime, Water and Sanitation, Disaster Reduction and Climate Change.

His role as GEM Divisional Director builds on private sector experience in Mongolia as an International Geoscience Consultant, focussing on the development of Mongolia's national geological survey and the establishment of a national geoscience database, and a variety of senior management roles in an Australian Public Service science agency.


Rhonda Robinson

Deputy-Director GEM Division

Disaster and Community Resilience Programme

Rhonda Robinson is the current Deputy-Director for the Disaster & Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) within the GEM Division. This is the largest programme within the Division. Rhonda has extensive experience and specialist understanding of the Pacific having worked within the Development sector for more than 20 years.

She began her career with SOPAC in 1998 as a Sanitation Officer after graduating with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology and Chemistry. She worked with the Commission for 7 years as a Sanitation Officer before leaving to pursue her postgraduate Masters of Environmental Management and Development and a Masters of Diplomacy from the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

Rhonda then re-joined SOPAC as a Project Advisor and went on to work in the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) team. She has worked extensively across the Pacific across integrated programmes, water security, water and sanitation and waste management and was appointed the Deputy Director of the Water and Sanitation Programme in 2011.

Rhonda continued this role after SOPAC Commission was merged into the Pacific Community (SPC) and continued this role until 2017 where she built the expertise within the team and worked alongside Pacific governments. After the restructure of the GEM Division in 2018, Rhonda became the only female Deputy-Director within the Division leading the largest programme within the team, The Disaster and Community Resilience Programme.


Akuila Tawake

Deputy-Director GEM Division

Georesources & Energy Programme

Akuila is the Deputy-Director for the Geoscience and Energy Programme (GEP) within the GEM Division. Prior to his appointment to this post he was team leader for a large sea mineral project and a Senior Advisor in aggregates and geology at the Geoscience Division for more than 10 years.

He is a member of the International Marine Minerals Society (IMMS) and the Fiji Mining and Quarrying Council, and the SPC regional correspondent for the InterRidge News. Akuila also worked as an Exploration/Mine/Project Geologist at an operating mine and two other exploration projects in Fiji for a further 7 years before joining SPC. He has relevant experience working with a broad range of stakeholders in the minerals/mining industry including governments, regional and international organisations, academic institutions, Private sector, NGOs, Communities and resource owners.


Thierry Nervale

Deputy-Director GEM Division

Oceans and Maritime Programme

Thierry is the Deputy Director of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division in charge of the Oceans and Maritime Programme. Thierry was initially the Deputy Director of Maritime Affairs in SPC Noumea, responsible for managing the territory's Maritime Navigation and Safety Department.

He holds a master's degree in Law and Safety of Maritime and Oceanic Activities from the University of Nantes (France).

Thierry has a deep understanding of the challenges and the solutions to address issues related to ocean and maritime governance in small islands developing states in the Pacific. Specifically around safe and sustainable use of the Ocean by Pacific people and ocean users globally.