Professor Helen Sullivan

PhD Bham., MA York, BA Comb.Hons., Bham
Director, Crawford School of Public Policy
College of Asia & the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Public Policy 160510
  • Public Administration 160509
  • Urban Policy 160514
  • Political Science 1606

Research interests

State-society relationships

Theory and practice of governance and collaboration

New forms of democratic participation

Dynamics of local/urban governance

Impact of reform on public policy systems.

Leadership and followership


Helen Sullivan is a public policy researcher, teacher, advisor, and senior university leader. Educated in the humanities and social sciences she holds degrees in Modern History and Political Science (BA Comb. Hons, University of Birmingham, UK), Women’s Studies (MA, University of York, UK), and Public Policy (PhD, University of Birmingham, UK). As Director of the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, she heads Asia-Pacific’s leading public policy school.

Helen’s award winning scholarship explores the changing nature of state-society relationships. She is widely published and highly cited; the author of six books and more than 100 peer reviewed academic articles, book chapters, and policy reports. Her work is supported by grants from national research councils in the UK and Australia, as well as industry funding from a range of national, regional and international institutions. She appears regularly in print, mainstream and online media commenting on contemporary public policy issues.

Helen’s career is defined by a long-term commitment to bridging the gap between research and policy. She has led and supported numerous successful innovations across the world.  In 2011 she co-designed the University of Birmingham’s Policy Commission Program bringing together academics with experts from public policy, industry and civil society to develop new and implementable solutions to major policy problems.  In 2013 Helen established the Melbourne School of Government – a multi-disciplinary School that broke new ground through its integration of engagement and impact with research and teaching.

Helen’s research has won ‘Best Paper/Publication’ awards from global academic societies including the Public Management Research Association and the International Research Society for Public Management. In 2018 she was appointed to the Editorial Board of Public Administration Review (the leading journal in the field), and in 2019, she was elected to the Executive Board of the International Research Society on Public Management, and elected VP/President Elect of the Australian Political Studies AssociationShe was awarded a Fellowship of the (now) Higher Education Academy in 2002 in recognition of her teaching quality and innovation, and in 2016 she was made a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia in recognition of her significant contribution to public policy practice.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  20 October 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers