Fellows Detail

Professor Ken Henry AC

BEc(Hons1) (UNSW), PhD (Canterbury, NZ)

Elected: 2012

Discipline: Economics

Profile

Dr Ken Henry has been one of Australia’s most outstanding public policy contributors, especially as Secretary to Treasury from 2001 – 2011.  He was also a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and a member of the Board of Taxation during this period.  He received an AC in 2007 and had previously received a Centenary Medal for his contributions.

His professional contributions include:

  • heading the review into Australia’s Future Tax System (the Henry Review)
  • responsibility on the preparation of the White Paper on Australia and the Asian Century
  • architect of the stimulus policy when Australia faced the global financial crisis:  this is generally regarded as keeping Australia from recession.  Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz, is quoted as saying it was one of the most impressive economic policies I’ve seen, ever
  • Chair of the Howard Government’s Task Force that produced A New Tax Systemin 2000
  • increasing the focus on social and environmental issues when considering economic policy.

Since retirement as head of Treasury, Dr Henry has acted as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, leading the development of a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.  He is also a director of National Australia Bank Ltd and Reconciliation Australia.

Dr Henry’s expertise in the economics field is very broad.  For example, as a senior policy adviser to the Treasurer he worked on taxation policy, retirement incomes policy, industry policy, telecommunications policy and microeconomic reform.  He has given numerous public speeches, many of which have stimulated debate within Australia on public policy issues.  He is not frightened to put a contrary view.  He has shown a strong interest in the academic sector and is Chair of the Advisory Council of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong as well as the Executive Chair of the National Institute of Public Policy at the Australian National University.

Appointments

Current appointments

  • Special Adviser to the Prime Minister
  • Executive Chair, Australian National Institute of Public Policy, the Australian National University
  • Director, National Australia Bank
  • Director, Reconciliation Board

Past appointments

  • Secretary of Treasury (2001 – 2011)
  • Director, Reserve Bank of Australia (2001 – 2011)
  • Director, Taxation Board (2001 – 2011)
  • Chair, Australia Future Tax System Review Panel (2010 – 11)
  • Deputy Secretary, Treasury (1995 – 2001)
  • Minister, OECD (1992 – 1994)
  • Adviser to the Treasurer (1986 – 1991)
  • Various Treasury Positions (1984 – 1986)
  • Lecturer, University of Canterbury, NZ (1980 – 1984)

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Contact

Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

    ABN: 59 957 839 703
  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au