ECONOMICS ALUMNI PROFILES


economics alumni bill evans

Bill EVANS (BEc Hons ’73).
Evans attended Kogarah High School and at Sydney, undertook his final Honours year in Economic Statistics, graduating with the University Medal. He subsequently pursued further studies in econometrics and mathematical economics at the London School of Economics (MSc ’76) and then worked in the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia, with particular focus upon econometric modelling of the financial system. Evans joined the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1980, eventually promoted to the role of domestic treasurer in charge of all funding, trading, portfolio management, and institutional and corporate customer sales. From 1984 to 1991 he was Director and Head of Financial Markets at Schroders, Australia's oldest, and then one of its most prestigious, investment banks. Evans joined Westpac Banking Corporation in 1991 in the role of Chief Economist, with responsibilities covering advice to the Board, the trading floor – and Westpac's vast range of external customers, including fund managers, hedge funds, corporate, SMEs and retail. Photograph courtesy of W.H. Evans.


economics alumni janet fischer

Janet FISCHER (BEc ’50).
English-born, Fischer (nèe Gleeson-White) emigrated to Australia with her family in 1939. She was a child model and appeared as one of the seven in the film adaptation of Seven Little Australians (1939). Fischer taught economics and geography at various Sydney schools until retiring in 1987. She was a lifelong political activist, particularly around environmental and peace issues. In the 1970s and 1980s she served on the Executive of the NSW Teachers Federation and the NSW Labor Council, and in these capacities was a leading campaigner for the abolition of corporal punishment in schools, and for environmental education and improving aboriginal education, as well as a vigorous defender of free, secular education. After retiring, ‘Fischer spent her time pursuing the love of learning she had tried to engender in her pupils and that she saw as the primary reason for education’ (Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald, 19/2/13). Photograph courtesy of Sandra Palmer.


economics alumni frank gelber

Frank GELBER (BSc ’70, BEc Hons ’74, PhD ’87).
The son of European migrants, Gelber grew up in Sydney. He spent some fifteen years at the University, studying mathematics, statistics and the physical sciences, as well as economics and econometrics, and also pursuing wider non-degree educational interests. During much of that time he was a university tutor in mathematics and economics. In 1981 Gelber joined BIS Schrapnel – a private-sector economic and industry research, forecasting and business consulting company – as an economic researcher, and has continued to work there ever since. Simultaneous with his employment there, in the 1980s Gelber undertook a PhD in econometrics at Sydney, on ‘income-competing inflation’. From 1986 he has been Chief Economist and Director at BIS Schrapnel. In forecasting, Gelber’s focus has been on the dynamics of market behaviour and predicting turning points and risk, with particular reference to the logic of cycles in property and construction markets. Photograph courtesy of F.H.A. Gelber.


economics alumni michael anthony gleeson-white

Michael Anthony GLEESON-WHITE AO (BEc Hons ’50).
English-born, Gleeson-White emigrated to Australia with his family in 1939 and undertook his degree after service in the Australian Navy during the war. He joined the stockbroking firm, Ord, Minnett, in 1953, becoming a partner in 1957. Gleeson-White was instrumental in the establishment of Trans City Discount, an authorized money market dealer, in 1959; of Darling & Co. (subsequently, Schroders Australia) in 1961; and of the investment bank, Ord BT (subsequently, BT Australia) in 1969. He was an executive director of the London merchant banking firm, J. Henry Schroder Wagg and Co., 1972–82; adviser to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, 1981–84; and an Associate Commissioner of the Australian Trade Practices Commission, 1981–82. Gleeson-White has served as a director of many public companies in Australia, Singapore, the UK and the US, and was President of the Art Gallery of NSW, 1982–88. Photograph courtesy of M.A. Gleeson-White.


economics alumni nick greiner

Nick GREINER AC (BEc Hons ’68).
Greiner was born in Budapest and emigrated with his parents from Vienna in 1951. Following his Sydney degree he completed, with High Distinction, a degree at Harvard (MBA ’70). After working in the US he joined White River Timber, the family business, in 1972 and it was listed the following year. Greiner was elected to the New South Wales Parliament in 1980 (Member for Ku-ring-gai) and became Leader of the Opposition in 1983. He led the Liberal and National Party Coalition to victory in 1988 and served as Premier and Treasurer of NSW from 1988 to 1992. In the subsequent decades Greiner has been very active in corporate life, serving as Chairman or Director of many public companies, such as British American Tobacco, Coles Myer, QBE, Stockland, Bradken and CHAMP Private Equity. In 2011 he was appointed Chairman of Infrastructure NSW by the NSW Government. Photograph courtesy of N.F. Greiner.


economics alumni stephen grenville

Stephen GRENVILLE AO (BEc Hons ’65).
Following graduation Grenville spent seven years working in the Department of Foreign Affairs, including postings to Jakarta and Saigon, then pursued postgraduate studies at the Australian National University (MEc ’72, PhD ’75). He subsequently was employed at the International Monetary Fund, in its Jakarta office, 1976–79, followed by three years at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, 1979–82. In 1982 Grenville joined the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia where he remained for almost two decades. He was closely involved in the development of the inflation targeting framework and his special interest in Asia gave the RBA an important role in Australia’s response to the Asian crisis in 1997. He was Deputy Governor and member of the RBA Board, 1996–2001. Since 2001 he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a consultant, particularly on monetary and financial sector issues in East Asia. Photograph courtesy of The Lowy Institute.


economics alumni peter groenewegen

Peter GROENEWEGEN (BEc Hons ’61, MEc ’63).
Dutch-born, Groenewegen emigrated from The Netherlands with his family in 1952. He studied also at the London School of Economics (PhD ’65). Groenewegen’s academic career from 1965 was at the University of Sydney (Professor of Economics, 1982–2002). Along with significant work on Australian public finance, his distinguished research career in the history of economic thought includes publications in the Economic Journal, the European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, History of Economic Ideas, History of Political Economy and the Journal of Political Economy – as well as authorship of the definitive biography of Alfred Marshall, A Soaring Eagle (1995), among many other books and chapters in books. Groenewegen is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (1983), Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society (2006) and of the Economic Society of Australia (2010) and Honorary Life Member of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (2008).


economics alumni stuart harris

Stuart HARRIS AO (BEc Hons ’56).
Harris’s career has included appointments at the highest levels in both the Commonwealth public service and academia. He also studied at the Australian National University (PhD ’64). Harris was Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics from 1967 to 1972 and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Trade, 1972–75. In 1975 he departed the public service to take up a position as Professor of Resource Economics at the ANU, serving as Director of the ANU’s Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies from 1982 to 1984. In 1984 Harris took leave from his academic position to become head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, overseeing the amalgamation of the then separate Commonwealth departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and heading the amalgamated Department, 1987–88. His wide-ranging intellectual and policy interests have had a particular focus upon East Asian politics and economics, especially China. Harris is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (1982). Photograph courtesy of the Australian National University.


economics alumni alex health

Alex HEATH (BEc Hons ’92).
Following her Sydney econometrics honours degree, Heath joined the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1992. She also undertook higher degrees at the London School of Economics (MSc ’96, PhD ’00). Heath has been at the RBA ever since, involved in a diverse range of research topics, from labour markets and exchange rates to macroeconomic forecasting. From 2006 to 2008 she worked on secondment at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, undertaking financial markets research and briefing the BIS Markets Committee. Since 2008 Heath has served as Deputy Head of International Markets and Relations, and then Deputy Head of the Domestic Markets Department, at the RBA, where she was involved in the international response to the financial crisis and Australian regulatory reform. Since 2012 she has been Head of the Bank’s Economic Research Department, where her research and participation in international working groups have focused upon over-the-counter derivatives markets. Photograph courtesy of the Reserve Bank of Australia.


economics alumni jeni klugman

Jeni KLUGMAN (BEc ’86, LLB Hons ’88).
Klugman grew up in Sydney and following her Sydney education, studied at Oxford University (BCL ’89, MSc ’90) – as the first female Rhodes Scholar from NSW – and the Australian National University (PhD ’98). From 1992 to 2008 she held various positions at the World Bank, dealing in particular with poverty, inequality and human development in low-income countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. Since August 2011 Klugman has been Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank Group. Prior to taking up this position she was Director and lead author of three global human development reports for the United Nations Development Programme (2009–2011). Klugman also serves on several advisory boards, including the World Economic Forum’s Advisory Board on Sustainability and Competitiveness, and boards associated with the Council on Foreign Relations, Plan International, the International Civil Society Network, the UNDP 2013 World Report on Democratic Governance, and the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender. Photograph courtesy of J.G. Klugman.


economics alumni jan kmenta

Jan KMENTA (BEc Hons ’55).
Czech-born, Kmenta studied statistics at Prague University of Technology following World War II but became a political refugee and emigrated to Australia. Following his Sydney degree he completed higher degrees at Stanford University (MA ’59, PhD ’64). After academic positions at UNSW, Sydney, Stanford and Wisconsin, Kmenta held positions at Michigan State University (1965–73) and the University of Michigan (1973–93). His distinguished research career includes publications in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the International Economic Review, the Journal of the American Statistical Association and the Review of Economics and Statistics – as well as authorship of the acclaimed text, Elements of Econometrics (1971; 2nd edn 1986). Kmenta is Fellow of the American Statistical Association (1970), Fellow of the Econometric Society (1980), Professor Emeritus of Economics and Statistics at the University of Michigan and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Economic Research and Graduate Education, Charles University, Prague. Photograph courtesy of J. Kmenta.


economics alumni john laker

John LAKER AO (BEc Hons ’72).
Laker was born and raised in Sydney. Following his Sydney degree and a period working in Commonwealth Treasury, he studied at the London School of Economics (MSc ’74, PhD ’78). Laker then worked at the International Monetary Fund before joining the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1982. As well as senior positions in the economic, bank supervision, and international areas, he was the RBA’s London-based Chief Representative in Europe, 1991–93. Upon his return to Australia, Laker became RBA Assistant Governor (Corporate Services) and in 1998, Assistant Governor (Financial System) and Deputy Chair of the Payments System Board. He has been Chairman of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority since 1 July 2003, twice reappointed. Dr Laker is APRA’s representative on the Payments System Board, the Council of Financial Regulators, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision. He is also a Director of the Centre for International Finance and Regulation. Photograph courtesy of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.


economics alumni paddy mcguinness

Paddy McGUINNESS AO (BEc Hons ’61).
Melbourne born, after briefly lecturing at the then NSW University of Technology (UNSW), in 1963 McGuinness moved to Europe for eight years. He worked for the Moscow Narodny Bank, completed an MSc (Economics) at the London School of Economics, and was employed at the OECD in Paris. Upon returning to Sydney in 1971, McGuinness worked for the Australian Financial Review and then as an economic adviser to the Minister for Social Security, Bill Hayden, in the Whitlam Labor Government (1973–74). He resumed writing for the AFR in 1974 and became Editor-in-Chief in 1982. In 1984 McGuinness moved to London, and subsequently Paris, as foreign correspondent for the AFR. Returning to Australia in 1987, he wrote a regular column for The Australian, and then the Sydney Morning Herald. From 1997 to 2007, McGuinness edited Quadrant Magazine. Running for election on a secessionist ticket, he served as an alderman on Leichhardt Council from 1999 to 2004. Photograph courtesy of Parnell McGuinness.


economics alumni bill mcmahon

Bill McMAHON (LLB ’33, BEc ’49).
McMahon was raised in Sydney and after his law degree, worked as a solicitor at Allen, Allen and Helmsley. Following military service during World War II and his economics degree, he was elected to the Federal Parliament (Member for Lowe, 1950–82). McMahon held various cabinet portfolios during the 1950s and 1960s – Navy and Army (1951–54), Social Services (1954–56), Primary Industry (1956–58), Labour and National Service (1958–66), Treasurer of Australia (1966–69) and External Affairs (1969–71; subsequently renamed Foreign Affairs) – and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party from 1966 to 1971. Following the resignation of John Gorton, McMahon became Australia’s 20th Prime Minister on 10 March 1971, a position he held until the defeat of the Coalition Government in December 1972. He remained in parliament until January 1982 and also served as a financial advisor to the Bank of America and BA Cash Management. Photograph courtesy of the National Archives of Australia (A1200, L55189 http://vrroom.naa.gov.au/records/?ID=27532).


economics alumni bill morrison

Bill MORRISON (BEc Hons ’50).
Morrison was raised in North Curl Curl, thereby acquiring a lifelong devotion to surfing. He attended North Sydney Tech, winning a scholarship to study economics at Sydney. Morrison joined the Commonwealth foreign service (Department of External Affairs) the year after his graduation and there followed postings in Moscow, Washington and Bangkok. He entered the Federal Parliament in 1969 as the Member for St George, holding the seat till 1975 and again, 1980–84. Morrison served as a cabinet minister in the Whitlam Governments, for External Territories (primarily, Papua New Guinea) and Science, and in the last months of the Whitlam era, as Minister for Defence. He was subsequently Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, 1985–89. His obituary (Sydney Morning Herald, 20/2/13) notes that only three career foreign service officers have served in Australian cabinets, Paul Hasluck and Kevin Rudd being the other two. Photograph courtesy of Fairfax Media.


economics alumni david mortimer

David MORTIMER AO (BEc Hons ’70).
Following a career in banking and finance in Australia and the US, Mortimer joined TNT Limited in 1973, becoming Chief Financial Officer and a Director of the company in 1985. In 1992 he was appointed Managing Director and CEO of TNT Limited worldwide group and remained at TNT until 1997. Mortimer has held many senior corporate appointments, including Deputy Chairman, Ansett Australia (1992–96); Chairman, GD Express Worldwide (1992–96); Director, Adstream Marine (1997–2007); Director, Australian Tourist Commission (1997–2004); Chairman, Citect Corporation (1997–2006); Chairman, Sydney Airports Corporation (1998–2002); Chairman, MIA Group (2000–04) – and is currently Chairman of Australia Post, Crescent Capital Partners and Leighton Holdings. He has also undertaken for the Federal Government, reviews of government business programmes (1996), government export policies and programmes, and defence procurement (2008), and has served as Chairman of the Defence Procurement Advisory Board (2004–2008). Mortimer is a Fellow of the Senate of the University of Sydney. Photograph, University of Sydney.


economics alumni hylda rolfe

Hylda ROLFE (BEc ’59, MEc ’65).
Born and raised in country NSW, Rolfe worked as a research officer with the AMP Society and then as economist for the United Farmers and Woolgrowers’ Association of NSW, and the Australian Wool and Meat Producers’ Federation, in the 1960s and 1970s. Among many activities of public service, she has been a Board Member of the Australian Wool Corporation and International Wool Secretariat (1974–76); a Commissioner of the Industries Assistance Commission (1974–79); Chair of the Commonwealth Prices Surveillance Authority (1984–89); a Board member of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (1993–96); and a Commissioner of the Commonwealth Grants Commission (1999–2004). Rolfe also served as an alderman on Woollahra Municipal Council from 1980 to 1991, including two periods as Mayor. Since 1997, she has been a principal of Natural Allies, an environmental consultancy, and Rolfe Planning Assessments. Rolfe is also a published poet. Photograph from Australian Women’s Weekly, 2 January 1974.


economics alumni colleen ryan

Colleen RYAN (BEc ’73).
Ryan was raised in Wollongong and attended St Mary College, where an inspirational teacher instilled in her a love of macroeconomics. After graduating she worked at Arthur Anderson but soon pursued a career in journalism. She joined the Australian Financial Review in 1975. In a long and distinguished career Ryan has served as AFR Papua New Guinea Correspondent (1976–78), Associate Editor of 8 Days (London; 1978–80), and for the next three decades, in various roles at Fairfax: Business Editor, National Times (1982–86); Associated Editor Business, Sydney Morning Herald (1986–96); Washington Correspondent, AFR (1996–98); Editor, AFR (1998–2002); and China Correspondent, AFR (2004–10). She has won three Walkley Awards for journalism (including the Gold Walkley), a Centenary Medal for services to journalism (2003) and was the 1992 Australian Journalist of the Year. Ryan is the author of Corporate Cannibals (1992; with Glenn Burge) and Fairfax: the Rise and Fall (2013). Photograph courtesy of Fairfax Media.


economics alumni don sanders

Don SANDERS AO CB (BEc ’50).
Sanders undertook his degree as an evening student, while employed at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. From graduation he had a thirty-seven year career in central banking. Sanders was closely involved in the formulation and execution of monetary and banking policy, as well as bank supervision – from the era of tight regulation in the 1950s to the deregulation of the 1980s. He retired from the Reserve Bank of Australia as Deputy Governor in 1987. Sanders also undertook periods of work at the Commonwealth Treasury (1956), the Bank of England (1960–61), the Asian Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Bangkok (1965) and Australia’s US Embassy (1968). In 1987 he was appointed Chief Executive and Managing Director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which he led through the challenges of financial deregulation; acquisition of the ASB Bank (New Zealand) and the State Bank of Victoria; and the CBA’s transition from government corporation to privatised, listed company. Sanders retired from the CBA in 1992. Photograph courtesy of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.


economics alumni joe skrzynski

Joseph SKRZYNSKI (BEc Hons ’70).
Skrzynski has had a long and pioneering career in the venture capital and private equity industry in Australia, initially for a private family company. He was a foundation Director of the Australian Venture Capital Association, and subsequently its Chairman, representing the industry as Federal ministerial appointee on the Small Business Council of Australia and the National Investment Council. From 1987 Skrzynski was Managing Director of Australian Mezzanine Investment group (AMIL), and from 2000, of its successor, Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Investment Partners (CHAMP). He has also worked in the public sector, as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Film Commission from 1979 to 1982, and been active in pro bono activities in the arts field, including Chair of the Sydney Opera House Trust and of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Skrzynski is a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate. Photograph, University of Sydney.


economics alumni glenn stevens

Glenn STEVENS (BEc Hons ’80).
Stevens joined the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1980 and subsequently held various senior positions in the Bank: Head of the Economic Analysis Department (1992–95), Head of the International Department (1995–96), Assistant Governor (Economic) (1996–2001) and Deputy Governor and Member of the Reserve Bank Board (2001–06). He is also an economics graduate of the University of Western Ontario (MA ’85), has been a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and has more recently served on a number of academic Advisory Boards. Stevens has been Governor of the RBA and Chairman of the RBA Board since 18 September 2006. He is also Chair of the Payments System Board, the Council of Financial Regulators and the Financial Markets Foundations for Children; an Australian representative on the international Financial Stability Board; and a Director of the Anika Foundation. Photograph courtesy of Reserve Bank of Australia.


economics alumni susan thorp

Susan THORP (BEc Hons ’86).
Thorp grew up in regional New South Wales. Following her Sydney degree she joined the Research Department of the Reserve Bank of Australia, undertaking macroeconomic and monetary policy research, but resigned in 1990 in order to spend several years raising her children. From 1996 she undertook academic employment at Southern Cross University and then the University of New South Wales, and pursued further study at the latter institution – completing a thesis on ‘Risk Management in Superannuation’ (PhD ’05). In 2005 Thorp joined the Faculty of Business at the University of Technology, Sydney and in 2010 was appointed inaugural Professor of Finance and Superannuation at UTS. Her published research covers long-horizon wealth management, financial market integration and personal finance. Thorp is lead researcher for several major projects applying choice modelling and experimental methods to consumer financial decision-making. Photograph courtesy of S.J. Thorp.


economics alumni nancy tomlinson

Nancy TOMLINSON (BEc Hons ’49).
English-born, Tomlinson (nèe Gleeson-White) emigrated to Australia with her family in 1939 and appeared that year in the film, Seven Little Australians (with her sister, Janet Fischer). At university she was active in the drama society and played the lead role in The Importance of Being Earnest, opposite Neville Wran. Tomlinson was the first woman to graduate from the University with First Class Honours in Economic History. She was one of the first women appointed to the Australian diplomatic service, in 1949, and then appointed to the Australian High Commission in London in 1952, where she subsequently in 1959 married a senior British diplomat, Stanley Tomlinson, and was obliged to give up her diplomatic career. Lady Tomlinson partnered her husband in postings to Berlin (where they became close friends with the then mayor of West Berlin, Willy Brandt), New York and Ceylon. Photograph courtesy of Jane Gleeson-White.


economics alumni max walsh

Max WALSH AM (BEc ’66).
Raised in the Coogee-Kingsford region of Sydney, Walsh began his career in journalism as a cadet at the Sydney Morning Herald in 1956, and then police rounds man at the Sydney Daily Mirror (1958–64). He undertook his Sydney degree part-time from 1960, while continuing to work in journalism. Walsh was the Canberra Political Correspondent for the Australian Financial Review from 1966 to 1974, then Editor of the AFR from 1974 and Managing Editor, 1978–80. In 1981 he joined the Nine television network as an economic and political commentator and from 1983 to 1987, co-anchored ABC television’s Carleton-Walsh Report. Walsh was also a columnist for the SMH, 1986–99 and Editor-in Chief of the Bulletin, 1999–2003. Since 2008 he has been Deputy Chairman of Dixon Advisory and has served on the boards of a number of funds management companies. Walsh is the author of Poor Little Rich Country: the Path to the Eighties (1979). Photograph courtesy of M.S. Walsh.


economics alumni martijn wilder

Martijn WILDER AM (BEc Hons ’89).
Wilder was born and grew up in Sydney. Following his Sydney degree he completed a law degree (with Honours) at the ANU and an LLM at Cambridge. After some years working as a lawyer at Allen, Allen and Hemsley, he joined Baker & McKenzie in 1999 – a partner from 2000 and in charge of the firm’s global Climate Change Practice since 2002. Over this period Wilder has been at the forefront of developing climate change law, particularly in relation to carbon markets. His wider activities have included: serving as external counsel to the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank; advisor to various departments and other organizations of Australian State and Federal and foreign governments; service to a large number of not-for-profit organizations; and a very active role in public debate around environmental issues. Wilder holds a number of academic positions and is Chair of Low Carbon Australia and on the Boards of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and WWF (Australia). Photograph courtesy of M.B.D. Wilder.