Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A leading British academic with expertise in government and industry leadership has been appointed inaugural director of The University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute.

Following a highly competitive international search, Professor Shamit Saggar was recruited from the University of Essex in the UK where he was Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research); focused on policy engagement, research impact and doctoral education.

The UWA Public Policy Institute was launched in 2018 as new way for the University to share its world-class research and expertise with decision makers and community leaders to help shape the future of our society.

Professor Saggar has held academic appointments at the universities of Liverpool, Queen Mary London, Sussex, UCLA, Yale and Toronto. He has combined academia with senior leadership roles in government (as senior adviser to former prime minister Tony Blair), regulation (with the Financial Services Authority and the Solicitors Regulation Authority), commerce (as chairman of UPP Group Holdings Ltd) and philanthropy (as UK adviser to Unbound Philanthropy).

A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Professor Saggar was recognised in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours with a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to social science and public policy.

Under Professor Saggar’s direction the institute will provide policy-focused reports on social and economic indicators, run short courses and professional development programs, partnerships with government agencies to increase the capabilities of policy officials, as well as offer leadership on issues which impact WA, Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.

UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dawn Freshwater said the University was delighted to attract an internationally recognised leader in public policy.

“UWA and the Public Policy Institute will benefit greatly from Professor Saggar’s expertise and leadership,” Professor Freshwater said.

Professor Saggar, who will start work at UWA in March, said the Public Policy Institute was vital to UWA’s external engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers locally, statewide and internationally.

“My goal is to ensure that PPI’s expertise, and familiarity with the context and challenges facing policymakers, will allow us to become the go-to authority for evidence, what works and advice on reform,” he said.

“WA’s relationships with partners across the Indo-Pacific can only be strengthened by the Institute’s work, and I am thrilled to be leading the exercise.”

The Public Policy Institute’s work will be supported by an international advisory board chaired by Professor Stephen Smith, former Australian foreign minister.

Media references

David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) 08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716


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