Dr Williams completed 10 years as NZ’s Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) in March 2007. Prior to this he held research and policy roles in agriculture, worked widely in the south pacific, undertook research in Antarctica and represented NZ research interests internationally. He was recently an Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Canterbury and Queensland, positions he held for over 10 year. In April 2004, Lincoln University awarded Morgan an honorary doctorate in Natural Resources
In his third phase of life Morgan chairs the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in NZ, is a trustee of the National Energy Research Institute and an advisory trustee of Leadership NZ and the NZ Centre for Environmental Law at Auckland University. Recent work has included: working with a German team from the Bertelsmann Stiftung Foundation to judge the Tasmanian entry in the global Reinhard Mohn Prize 2013, a prize for Strategies for a Sustainable Future; for the sixth year judging the 2014 Aggregate and Quarry Association environmental excellence; facilitating research/industry forums on forestry on NZ steep-lands and sustainable farming systems research; chairing the organising committee of a ‘Climate of Change – Pathways for society’ Forum held in March 2011 and contributing to a global ‘Frontiers of Sustainable Development’ think tank in Europe in September 2009 and a ‘Food Futures Forum’ in Iceland in Sept 2010.
A driving force behind Dr Williams efforts for over 30 years has been his great interest in how people think about and relate to the natural world - particularly in terms of the political, social and economic constructs that influence the management of our natural capital and thus the broad canvas of sustainable development.
Morgan grew up on a dairy farm near Kaiapoi in Canterbury. He has degrees in ecology from the Universities of Canterbury (MSc) and Bath, UK (PhD). He shares his environmental and sustainability interests with his wife, Pam, who completed a PhD in 2008 in the field of tertiary education for sustainability. Last year she retired after ten years as a Trustee and Co-Chair of Enviroschools, a Trust that overseas education for sustainability in over 900 schools and is now a trustee of the Cawthron Institute and Environment Centre in Nelson.
Pam and Morgan built a very energy efficient home in Nelson in 2011/2012 to in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, enable a return to the South Island, scope for serious gardening while remaining close to Wellington but enjoying much better weather!