Dr. John Hewson

Academic, economist, businessman, politician, columnist and commentator.


Throughout various careers in academia, business, politics, and the media, John Hewson has been a climate activist since the early 90s.

He has campaigned for the science, for recognition of the need for faster and more decisive action on emissions reductions and an effective Climate Action Plan, and developed a range of new businesses (including in renewables, garbage recycling, energy efficient light bulbs, green data centres, bio-fuels and bio-energy, and solar thermal and storage) demonstrating the “business case” for the many business opportunities that flow from an effective transition to a low-carbon society.

He also Chaired, globally, the Asset Owners Disclosure Project that surveyed, rated, and ranked the world’s top 500 asset owners on their management of climate risk, that has underwritten the FSB/Bloomberg Taskforce process that is leading to compulsory disclosure, and a focus on pathway management.

He has supported various Stop Adani campaigns and ran a campaign in the recent Wentworth by-election as a referendum on climate policy. He is Chair Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia, Chairman, BioEnergy Austraalia, Member SteerCo Australian Sustainable Finance Roadmap, and a Patron of the Smart Energy Council.

Current work

John is currently finishing two books – ‘ Public Policy Book’ and another as a Collection of major public policy columns and speeches etc

He is currently a Professorial Fellow at Crawford School, Australian National University and Professor and Chair, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School.

John is an adjunct Professor at UTS Business School; Adjunct BCEC Professorial Fellow Curtin University; Professorial Fellow, Thinker-in-Residence, and Member Advisory Board, Institute of Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra.
He is currently a director at The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation at ANU and is also a patron of Overseas bankers Association, and Smart Energy Council, and Chair of the Commission for the Human Future
John has written thousands of columns, given hundreds of speeches/lectures at conferences around the world, and appeared regularly as a radio and television commentator for nearly 35 years. He currently writes a regular column for Nine Media (SMH/Age) and a weekly column syndicated across Australia through Australian Community Media. He also appears regularly on radio, TV and across a multitude of on line platforms

Previous experience

Careers: John’s career can be divided into five parts, sometimes overlapping
-economist and academic
-charitable, not for profit and community activities
-media, as a columnist and commentator

In economics, he has worked for the Treasury, the RBA, the IMF , the UN, and as a Professor and Head of School at UNSW, and as Dean, Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

In business he is best known as a Founder of Macquarie Bank, Chairman ABN AMRO Australia and as Chairman/Director of a host of public/private companies and charities.

In politics, he was Chief of Staff/Advisor to the Prime Minister and Treasurer in the Fraser Government, and as a Member of the federal Parliament he became Leader of the Liberal Party and the Federal Opposition.

In media he is a prominent Economics Consultant and Author for The Economist Column, Business Review Weekly, 1983-87 Editorial Advisor. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board and Columnist for Triple A magazine and the Australian Correspondent for International Reports (a Financial Times subsidiary based in New York)

Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA)
Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)
Fellow, Finance and Treasury Association (FFTP(Hon))
Affiliate, The Securities Institute of Australia (ASIA)
Fellow, The Hong Kong Management Association
Member in the Order of Australia
Centenary Medal
Woodrow Wilson Fellow
Lifetime Achievement Award University of Regina, November 2009
Order of Merit, Australian Olympic Committee May 2010

Speaker:John has spoken and lectured widely at academic, economic and business conferences as an economist, worldwide over the last 40 years


Talking Points
Forging Ties between Asia and Australia
Politics, Economics and Business
Surviving in a Competitive Business Environment