Stephen Howes's picture

Stephen Howes

Professor of Economics
Director, Development Policy Centre


1982-5: Bachelor of Arts (First-class Honours), University of Melbourne
1987: Graduate Diploma in Development Economics, ANU
1988: Master of Economics, Faculty of Economics, ANU
1989/90-1992/93: Doctor of Philosophy, London School of Economics.

Contact details

Phone: +61 2 6125 7553

Room: Chauffeurs Cottage, Crawford School

Stephen is a Professor of Economics at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He is the Director of the Development Policy Centre.

Stephen is a member of the Advisory Group appointed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility(PALM) scheme. In 2022-23, he was a member of the External Advisory Group for Australia’s 2023 international development policy.

From 2021 to 2023, he was part of the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) appointed by the PNG Treasurer reviewing PNG’s 2000 Central Banking Act. You can read the IAG’s first-phase report here.

Stephen is Chair of Femili PNG, an NGO that supports survivors of family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.

Stephen served as Director of the International and Development Economics program of the Crawford School from 2009 to 2014. He edited, the blog of the Development Policy Centre from 2011 to 2023. He was Editor in Chief of the Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies journal from 2019 to 2022.

Prior to joining the Crawford School in 2009, Stephen was Chief Economist at the Australian Agency for International Development. He worked from 1994 to 2005 at the World Bank, first in Washington and then in Delhi, where he was Lead Economist for India. In 2008, he worked on the Garnaut Review on Climate Change, where he managed the Review’s international work stream.

In 2005, while working for AusAID, Stephen was a member of the three-person Core Group whose report formed the basis for the 2006 Australian Aid White Paper. In 2010-11, Stephen was a member of the five-person panel that wrote the Independent Review of [Australian] Aid Effectiveness. In 2016, he served as a member of the Australia-Pacific Technical College Design Reference Group. In 2021, he chaired an interdepartmental working group established by the Department of Foreign Affairs to promote Pacific participation in Australia’s Temporary Skills Shortage Visa.

Stephen served as a Board Member for CARE Australia, and Chair of the CARE Program and Operations Committee from 2012 to 2019. He has previously served on the Board of the Pacific Institute of Public Policy, and on the Advisory Council of the Asian Development Bank Institute.

Ph. D. students

  • Cate Rogers, working on remote rural poverty in PNG (completed!).
  • Alicia Molloun, working on American aid to Pakistan (completed!).
  • Pepe Khennavong, working on the politics of aid and the role of non-traditional donors in Laos (completed!).
  • Hyungsup Lee, working on regional variation in climate change mitigation costs (completed!).
  • Shenghao Feng, working on climate change mitigation challenges in China (completed!).
  • Ian Anderson, working on health challenges in the Pacific (completed!).
  • Kongkea Chhoeun, working on Chinese and Australian scholarships to Cambodia (completed!).
  • Paskal Kleden, working on flesible (PDIA) aid (completed!).
  • Christopher Hoy, working on impact evaluations and inequality in PNG and Indonesia (completed!).

Research interests

  • Aid policy
  • PNG and the Pacific
  • Labour mobility


Updated:  18 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team