Our people

Our most important asset has been, and will remain, our people. With a variety of skills and experiences, our dynamic teams deliver passion through results that impact.

Chief Executive Officer

Tina Lucas joined Cognition in 2016 having previously completed successful tenures as CEO of Aspire-Education, Managing Director at Nord Anglia Education PLC and the founder of STEMtech Education. Tina brings a wealth of experience in rapidly growing substantial education organisations and support services in the UK and overseas and has more than 25 years’ experience of working with clients and partners in the public, private and not-for profit sectors. Tina combines principled and assertive leadership with entrepreneurialism, commercial acumen and a strong moral purpose to deliver outstanding results for clients and service holders alike and has contributed significant expertise to the delivery of major education transformation programmes globally over the last two decades.

Chief Financial Officer

Aaron Smith joined Cognition’s corporate services and executive teams in 2013. A skilled leader, Aaron specialises in influence and drive decision making, effective reporting, insight and experience in the organization and industry.

His experience in leadership, interpersonal communication and managing group stakeholder relationships have set him at the forefront for expanding Cognition's development into new areas, externally and within the business.

Aaron has a strong financial shared services background, and is highly invested in strategy and communication of brand within corporate environments. 

Commercial Director

Chris is an experienced business executive and international consultant with more than 10 years of experience working across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He  leads business development function for Cognition and manages key strategic relationships and opportunities. Chris has portfolio responsibility for key account relationship management within Cognition. Chris has worked at a senior level with private and public sector leaders and CEOs and has travelled to more than 100 countries across the  Middle East, Asia, North America, Europe and the Pacific.

His previous roles for Cognition include Vice President, Publishing and General Manager, Services. Chris is a Trustee of the New Zealand Youth Mentoring Network (NZYMN) and a former treasurer and... Read more

Vice President - Media and Publishing

James runs our Publishing and Media team. He is an experienced senior manager with over 15 years multi-media publishing experience. 

Passionately customer focused, James is committed to understanding the client, stakeholder, and audience needs and priorities to establish effective training and learning solutions. 

James has managed the development of countless large-scale publishing programmes and directs an expert team that includes some of New Zealand's best education consultants, instructional designers, e-learning developers, writers, editors, and graphic designers. 

Regional Director, EMEA

Melanie is an experienced consultant, leader and business development specialist with a wealth of expertise in establishing and growing business in the UK and internationally. Mel has extensive experience working with high profile clients across the public, private and not for profit sectors including many government agencies, delivering major education transformation programmes and professional services. Melanie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge around the UK and ME education systems and extensive knowledge of school development. Most recently Mel has led on the education strategy for Lusail in Qatar, developing the strategic plans for more than 35 new schools across all ages and working with some of the top international education providers in the world.

Vice President – Visible Learning Plus

Sarah is a Chartered Accountant, and began her career in public practice.  She has previous management and leadership roles in finance and business functions within the telecommunications and professional services sector and has governance roles in the not-for-profit sector.  She holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from Waikato University, and maintains an active interest in New Zealand’s export community and NZICA operations.