Professor Guilford took up the position of Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University of Wellington in March 2014.
He came to Victoria from the University of Auckland, where he was the Dean of the Faculty of Science and a member of the Senior Management Team of the University. He has led other large and complex academic organisations, beginning with the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University.
Earlier in his career, Professor Guilford undertook teaching, research, clinical and leadership roles at the University of Missouri, the University of California, Davis and Massey University.
His focus shifted to academic leadership and roles in that field have given him in-depth experience of university strategy, policy, financial and operational management and led to many successful collaborative and philanthropic ventures.
Professor Guilford has held positions on the boards of several companies, including New Zealand Genomics Limited, research consortia, joint venture entities, centres of research excellence, including the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, and the crown research institute Landcare Research Limited.