John Akehurst's executive career was in the upstream oil and gas and LNG industries, initially with Royal Dutch Shell and then as chief executive of Woodside Petroleum. Mr Akehurst is a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and chair of Transform Exploration. He is also chair of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases and the Fortitude Foundation. Mr Akehurst was chair of Alinta and Coogee Resources, and former director of CSL, Oil Search, Securency, Murdoch Film Studios and University of Western Australia Business School. He holds a Masters in Engineering Science from Oxford University and is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.