Russell Reichelt joined the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) in 2007 as Chairman and Chief Executive. Dr Reichelt is a board member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. He began diving on the Great Barrier Reef in 1968 and worked as a research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in the 1980s studying the ecology of coral reefs, particularly the crown-of-thorns starfish.
He has a PhD in marine science and has served as CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Chairman of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, and as a member of Australia’s State of the Environment Committee. He has previously chaired the National Oceans Advisory Group, CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship Advisory Committee and Seafood Services Australia Ltd.
He is an Adjunct Professor at James Cook University and the University of Queensland; and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (UK) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
He was appointed as Chairman of the Authority on 1 November 2007 for five years, and reappointed on 1 November 2012 for a term concluding on 31 October 2017.