Sullivan takes the reins at Asia and the Pacific

15 April 2021

Professor Helen Sullivan has been appointed Dean of the Australian National University's College of Asia and the Pacific (CAP).

The current Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy will take up her new post in July.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said he looks forward to working with Professor Sullivan to advance the University's unique focus and vital work on one of the world's most important regions.

"We are lucky to have Helen's experience and wisdom to help guide CAP, one of the world's great centres of Asia-Pacific and public policy studies, through what is both a challenging time, but also a time with unprecedented opportunities to have a positive impact on Australia, the region and the world,"  Professor Schmidt said.

"During her role as Crawford Director, Professor Sullivan has overseen a significant transformation of the school, including diversifying its range of activities, widening its research excellence, and expanding its cooperation with other parts of the University, with the Commonwealth, and other external partners.

"She brings a keen academic intellect, strong strategic thinking, and the ability to bring people together to create outcomes that exceed the sum of the individuals involved."

Prior to joining ANU in 2016, Professor Sullivan was founding Director of the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne. She has also held roles at the University of Birmingham as Professor of Government and Society, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer and Director of the university's inaugural Policy Commission.

As one of the world's leading political scientists, Professor Sullivan's work examines several key issues vital for our Australian democracy including the theory and practice of governance and collaboration, new forms of democratic participation, and public policy and service reform.

Professor Sullivan said she was excited about working with a diverse range of extraordinary scholars and professional staff.

"CAP is the centre of excellence for understanding human development and organisation in all its forms -- culturally, economically, politically, and socially - in our region," she said.

"Our unique combination of country expertise, disciplinary excellence, and public policy analysis, places us at the forefront of understanding and responding to the very serious challenges faced by Australia, our region, and the world.

"I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity, and humbled by the confidence placed in me by the College and the university to lead CAP at this challenging time."

Professor Sullivan will replace Professor Sharon Bell, who has been the interim Dean since late 2019.

"I am grateful to Professor Bell for agreeing to continue as interim Dean, a role she has held with distinction since late 2019, and during some exceptionally tough times for the College and ANU," Professor Schmidt said.