Sam is the Director of Intelligence and Biosecurity Support Services for the Ministry for Primary Industries. He is part of the team that is protecting New Zealand from pests and diseases coming across the border.
Sam started his career as a pilot in the Royal New Zealand Airforce, where he gained experience in meteorology, navigation, principles of flight and working in a small team.
Sam has developed a passion for space and in particular astrophysics but also for observing the night sky, observing the Sun, telescopes and optics and imaging. Sam runs telescope courses and he is currently building a 30″ telescope for public viewing. He ran the Mission to Mars – Synergies in Space school exercise with the New Zealand Astrobiology Network (see featured photo) where he created the Mission to Mars command, structure, participants, team organisation and leadership.
Together with Hari, Sam runs Milky-Way.Kiwi which is a social enterprise to give access to the night sky for everyone and he is on the Board of the New Zealand Astrobiology Network.
His professional experiences inspired Sam to teaching critical thinking and leadership in schools.
Following his aviation career, Sam changed careers to intelligence, starting in electronic warfare, GIS and then into leading parts of the intelligence community. This included experience overseas and as a Diplomat in London. He also commanded military operations to the Republic of Timor Leste and he is currently the President of the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals.