Appointed to the Malaghan Institute Trust Board in 2015. Was Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2007–2014) and has over 20 years’ experience in various management and governance roles in the tertiary education, science and health sectors. Dr McCarthy is a Director of Powerhouse Ventures Ltd, the Cawthron Institute, the NZ Institute of Economic Research, and a member of the governance groups of the Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, and two National Science Challenges, Ageing Well and Healthier Lives. She is a Trustee of the Hearing Deafness Research Foundation (NZ). Made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education in 2008, a Companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand for services to science in 2015, and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science, business and women in 2016.