Third alumnus appointed to RBA Board

9 May 2016
Renowned economist and UQ alumnus Dr Ian Harper has been appointed a Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, bringing the number of UQ alumni currently serving on the Board to three.

Dr Harper (Bachelor of Economics, First Class Honours, '78) will bring a high level of expertise to the role, garnered from a finance career spanning more than three decades.

Treasurer Scott Morrison applauded Dr Harper's appointment and told parliament he would be a valuable member of the RBA Board.

“(His) combined experience in public policy development and academia will enable him to make a strong contribution to Reserve Bank Board deliberations," Mr Morrison said.

Known for his free-market and rational economic views, Dr Harper is expected to take a pragmatic approach to interest rates and property markets when he liaises with fellow UQ alumni Catherine Tanna (pictured below left) and Kathryn Fagg (picture below right), who have served on the Board since 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Ms Tanna (Bachelor of Laws, '84) is the Managing Director of EnergyAustralia and in 2015 was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Award.

Ms Fagg (Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, Honours, '82) is Chair of the Melbourne Recital Centre, Director of Boral Limited, Director of the Breast Cancer Network Australia, Director of Djerriwarrh Investments and Director of Incitec Pivot, and was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Alumni Excellence Award in 2013.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC congratulated Dr Harper on his appointment and his high-level service to Australia.

"Having three of nine RBA Board members from UQ truly speaks to the quality of our graduates, and of the exceptional education provided by the University," Professor Høj said.

“Our graduates, who are creating change in communities around the world, are the clearest indication that our vision of knowledge leadership for a better world is being realised.

"Congratulations to Ian on his appointment, and to Catherine and Kathryn for their continuing contribution to the RBA and the Australian economy."

Dr Harper, Ms Tanna and Ms Fagg join six other members of the RBA Board each month to contemplate the stability of the Australian dollar, employment and economic prosperity and to ensure Australia’s monetary and banking policy benefits the people.

Before his appointment to the Board, Dr Harper headed the Abbott Government's competition review and the Howard government's Fair Pay Commission, and was a member of the Wallis Inquiry into the Australian financial system.

He is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He spent more than 20 years as a Professor at The University of Melbourne and now holds the honorary title of Professor Emeritus with the Melbourne Business School.

Dr Harper has been described by fellow economists as an industry leader with a unique range of practical and academic knowledge.