Professor Helen Sullivan

Director, Melbourne School of Government

The University of Melbourne

Professor Helen Sullivan is Foundation Director of the Melbourne School of Government (MSoG) and a policy studies researcher and teacher. She has degrees from the UK Universities of Birmingham and York and worked in a number of roles in government before moving to academia.

Since 2012 Helen has led the development of MSoG, an interdisciplinary and applied graduate school dealing with contemporary questions of governance and public policy in international relations, development studies and public policy and administration. Helen’s research and teaching explores the changing nature of state-society relationships and includes the theory and practice of changing modes of governance and collaboration, new forms of democratic participation, and the practice of public policy and service reform. Current research projects explore the impact of ‘the Asian Century’ on public policy, the relationship between social media, journalism and citizen participation in Australian electoral politics, and the social license to operate in the emerging coal seam gas industry. Helen has published widely in academic and practitioner media and her work has won awards from the International Research Society on Public Management, and the Public Management Research Association. Her latest book (with C Skelcher and S Jeffares) is ‘Hybrid Governance in European Cities: Neighbourhood, Migration and Democracy’ (2013).

She sits on the boards of a number of international academic journals including Critical Policy Studies Helen’s work reflects a long term commitment to finding new ways to bridge the gap between research and policy. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne in 2011, she was Director of the University of Birmingham’s first Policy Commission, a collaboration between public services providers, users, policy makers, think tanks and academics to produce the major report When Tomorrow Comes: The Future of Local Public Services published in 2011.

She has been an expert advisor and undertaken numerous reviews in the UK and internationally. Professor Sullivan is a Fellow (Victoria) of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, sits on its Board and chairs the Program Committee.