Nicola Willis | Influence 100
Nicola Willis

Nicola Willis

Director of global stakeholder management

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has had a bumpy ride over the past few years—a product contamination and recall that impacted the company’s business in China, followed by a blackmail threat and a worldwide collapse of dairy prices—so it’s no surprise that it was looking for a replacement for longtime communications chief Kerry Underhill it turned to someone with experience in the high-pressure, high-stakes realm of politics.

Prior to joining Fonterra in 2012, Nicola Willis was a senior advisor to Prime Minister John Key, having worked with him and the National Party in government and opposition from 2003 to 2011.

As director of global stakeholder management, Willis leads the development and execution of Fonterra's strategy for building and sustaining strong relationships with its key stakeholders including governments, NGOs, key opinion leaders and others, with a huge focus on trade issues (she also serves as a national board member of ExportNZ).