Helen Sullivan's picture

Helen Sullivan

Director, Crawford School of Public Policy


BA Hons, 1988 (University of Birmingham, UK), MA, 1989 (University of York, UK), Dip. Pers. Mgt, 1991 (DMU UK), PhD, (2000) (University of Birmingham, UK)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK)

Fellow of the Institute for Public Administration, Australia

President Australian Political Studies Association (2020/21)

Contact details

Helen Sullivan is a public policy researcher, teacher and advisor. Educated in the humanities and social sciences she holds degrees in Modern History and Political Science (BA Comb. Hons), Women’s Studies (MA), and Public Policy (PhD).

Helen’s scholarship explores the changing nature of state-society relationships including the theory and practice of governance and collaboration, new forms of democratic participation, and public policy and service reform. She is widely published; the author of six books and numerous academic articles, book chapters, and policy reports. She appears regularly in print, mainstream and online media commenting on contemporary public policy issues.

Helen’s work reflects a long-term commitment to finding new ways to bridge the gap between research and policy. In 2011 she co-designed the University of Birmingham’s Policy Commission Program and led the first Commission on Local Public Service Reform. In 2013 she established the Melbourne School of Government – a multi-disciplinary School that broke new ground through its focus on engagement and impact, including establishing a research translation initiative (MSoGLabs), as well as initiatives such as Vote Compass, Election Watch and the Trawalla Foundation funded Pathways to Politics Program for Women.

Helen’s scholarship has been recognised by awards from the Public Management Research Association and the International Research Society for Public Management, her contribution to teaching is acknowledged by her fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and her contribution to practice by her fellowship of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Teaching and Research Supervision

Helen is not currently available for RHD supervision

Research interests

State-society relationships

Theory and practice of governance and collaboration

New forms of democratic participation

Dynamics of local/urban governance

Impact of reform on public policy systems.

Leadership and followership


Helen teaches into the MPP and EMPP.

Updated:  24 June 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team