Debbie Kirby, Downer (NZ)

2021 HRD Global 100

general manager

Debbie Kirby is the general manager of people and culture at Downer New Zealand. In this role, she leads a team of 26 HR professionals who manage the company’s generalist, recruitment, and learning and development HR functions. She also performs the role of general manager of corporate social outcomes. She joined Downer in August 2009 as a training adviser. She was then promoted to HR advisor (manager), then to HR senior business partner, before being appointed to her current role in October 2016. As an experienced HR generalist, Kirby is skilled in the areas of learning and development, employee relations, coaching and advising, performance management, union negotiations, recruitment, and strategy development and implementation.