New South Wales

Meet your NSW Councillors

The ESA NSW Branch Council for 2019/2020 is confirmed as below.


Tony Bryant, Councillor

Tony Bryant is an academic economist currently working at Macquarie University. He is an active, established and internationally recognized researcher in the field of General Equilibrium Theory. General Equilibrium Theory is the most venerable part of economic analysis. The field asks basic questions about the existence, optimality, stability and comparative static properties of equilibrium states. The theoretical depths of GE, along with the breadth of its applications, makes it the core of serious economic analysis and policy work. He has also worked in Microeconomics, Applied Macroeconomics, Cultural Economics and the Economics Education. He has won a number of Teaching Awards and hase a long standing commitment to the education of students, whose development is vital for their own future and for that of the economy and the society in which they live and work.

Belinda Cheung, Secretary

Belinda Cheung is a Manager at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Belinda holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Sydney, and a Master of Economics from the University of New South Wales. As an economic policy wonk, Belinda is keen to spread the message that a career in economics means doing work that matters, and involves a fair amount of storytelling and mythbusting.

Luke Crowther, Councillor

Luke Crowther has been an ESA (NSW) Councillor since 2017 and is part of the Young Economist Network (YEN), which is responsible for organising events such as Policy in the Pub nights, ‘A Day in the Life’ and the YEN Mentoring Program. Luke works as a Senior Consultant in the Infrastructure Advisory team at Ernst & Young. He graduated from a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and Bachelor of Finance at the Australian National University, with a particular focus on theoretical microeconomics, including contract theory and trade theory. Luke is passionate about economics education and assisting those new to the field to better understand career paths in economics. Outside work Luke enjoys trying to learn the guitar, playing tennis or supporting his AFL team North Melbourne.

Gigi Foster, VP Academic

Gigi Foster is an Associate Professor with the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales Business School, having received her BA from Yale, majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, and her PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.  She works in many literatures, including education, social influence, behavioral economics, lab experiments, and time use. With support from multiple competitive grants from the Australian Research Council and other bodies, she has written a broad behavioral-economics treatise with Cambridge University Press (An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks, CUP 2013, joint with Paul Frijters), compiled a volume of papers in household economics with Palgrave (The Economics of Multitasking, Palgrave-Macmillan 2016, jointly edited with Charlene Kalenkoski) and has published work with many coauthors in a wide variety of economic and multidisciplinary outlets, including Journal of Public EconomicsQuantitative Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Human Relations, and Journal of Economic Psychology.  Her work related to education, behavioural economics, and Australian policy has appeared in national and international media outlets and informed public debates, and her award-winning teaching features strategic innovation, interactivity, and integration with research. She has served the profession in a variety of roles including as ARC Expert Assessor, as a member of the National Economics Learning Standards working party (, as one of the most prolific female economist contributors to The Conversation in Australia, and as the most junior female member of Australia’s National Economic Panel (

Christiana Gailey, Councillor

Christiana Gailey is a Director in PwC’s Economics and Policy Team. The majority of her work has focused on empowering cities – and their citizens – by bringing together the economics, finance, and governance required to unlock growth. Her success in the USA, UK and Australia has seen Christiana become a recognised thought leader on the topic – a status cemented by a TEDx talk she delivered in London. She has worked with city leaders and government departments to create compelling investment cases for the largest cities and infrastructure investments across the UK and Australia. Christiana’s global experience and diverse interests have led her to work for a variety of private, public and third sector organisations – including the British civil service, think tanks, academia, and consulting.

Nicki Hutley, Councillor

Nicki Hutley is a highly experienced economist, with more years than she cares to admit to, firstly in financial markets and then, over the past decade, in economic consulting working with government across most policy portfolios.  As a new member of the ESA Council, Nicki hopes her real world experience will prove helpful to support the ESA in sparking policy debate and in engaging a broad membership. My personal mission is to bring an understanding of economics to a much wider part of the Australian electorate. When work and family allow, Nicki is an avid reader, cat lover, nature photographer and traveller.

Muheed Jamaldeen, Councillor

Muheed Jamaldeen is an Associate Director at Deloitte Access Economics, who has worked on a range of public policy issues in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. As a former Commonwealth Treasury official, and former Senior Economist at Oxfam Australia, he has experience working on both microeconomic and macroeconomic issues. He has worked on macroeconomic issues such as economic inequality, international aid and development, corporate international taxation, and foreign investment; as well as microeconomic matters in urban economics, housing markets, transport and infrastructure economics, land-use economics, and climate change economics. He has also worked on issues related to the OECD Multinational Guidelines for responsible business conduct, during his time at the Secretariat of the Australian National Contact Point (AusNCP) for The Guidelines, based at the Commonwealth Treasury. Muheed holds a Master of Research (Economics) degree from Macquarie University, and is a regular guest lecturer and industry mentor at a number of universities in Sydney.

Rachel Krust, Councillor

Rachel Krust is currently an Associate at the Boston Consulting Group. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney, and has a particular interest in public sector work and public policy. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys playing netball, running and reading.

Alexandra Lobb, Councillor

Alexandra Lobb is a Principal at ACIL Allen Consulting where she co-leads ACIL Allen’s Agribusiness Team. Although she specialises in agricultural economics and policy, Alexandra has experience and interest in many areas including space and spatial economics, food economics, consumer behaviour and marketing, environmental economics and competition and regulatory economics. Alexandra holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia and was formerly an academic at the University of Reading (UK), a senior economist at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and principal analyst at the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal. Alexandra enjoys solving problems, cooking (and eating) and listening to her sons’ play music.

Jess Mizrahi, VP Business

Jess Mizrahi  is currently an Associate Director at Deloitte Access Economics, where she provides practical policy advice and thought leadership for industry and government clients. She has guided projects in a range of industries, with deep experience in financial services, the digital economy, telecommunications and media.  She has extensive experience in economic and social policy, strategy and analysis. Jessica was a finalist for Deloitte Young Businesswoman of the Year in 2015, and previously taught economics to over 300 students at the University of New South Wales.

Paul Oslington, Councillor

Paul Oslington is Professor of Economics and Dean of Business at Alphacrucis College, He was previously Associate Professor of Economics at University of New South Wales, and held visiting appointments at University of Oxford, University of British Columbia, and Princeton Theological Seminary and University. He is Vice-President Academic of the Economic Society (NSW Branch).  Professor Oslington works on international trade, labour markets and the history and philosophy of economics. He is an international leader in the emerging interdisciplinary field of economics and religion. Publications include the books The Theory of International Trade and Unemployment (Elgar), Economics and Religion (Elgar), Adam Smith as Theologian (Routledge), Political Economy as Natural Theology (Routledge), Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics (OUP), an edition of Jacob Viner‘s The Customs Union Issue (OUP) as well as articles in Economic Record, Australian Economic Papers, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, Economics Letters, World Economy, Review of International Economics, History of Economics Review, Journal of the History of Economic Thought and History of Political Economy.

Peter Rickards, Treasurer

Peter Rickards is an economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Prior to joining the Bank, Peter worked in investment banking (Credit Suisse). He graduated from the University of New South Wales with Honours in Economics. During his time at UNSW he taught economics and continues to do so. Within the field of economics, Peter’s interests include monetary economics, economic history and behavioural economics. In his spare time, Peter enjoys travelling and playing sport.

Penny Smith, President

Penny Smith is the Deputy Head of Financial Stability Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia. Since joining the Bank in 2009, Penny has held various management positions in Financial System Group, Economic Group and Financial Markets Group. Prior to joining the Bank, Penny worked in Strategy and Research at Westpac and as a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia. Penny is also President of the NSW Branch of the Economic Society of Australia.

Robert Smith, Councillor

Robert Smith has been a member of the Economic Society of Australia for over 20 years and on the NSW council for eight. He is the Principal Consulting Economist at East Economics and has a background in management consulting, banking and finance, infrastructure and energy.  Robert’s experience covers economic evaluation, economic policy & regulation, market design, demand management, industry analysis, forecasting and performance improvement. He is passionate about using economics to find creative, efficient, and practical solutions described by clear and compelling narratives.  Robert’s other interests include technology and innovation, mentalism, ocean swimming and freediving.

Ben Zhe Wang, Councillor

Ben Wang is a senior lecturer of economics with Macquarie Business School at Macquarie University, where he also serves as the corporate engagement coordinator for the Department of Economics. His work focuses on applied macroeconomics, with recent interests on measuring and evaluating the impact of macroeconomic uncertainty, housing market dynamics, and the role of media news in driving households' expectations. He has also worked on interdisciplinary topics that are related to socioeconomic disadvantaged groups. He has published in a wide range of academic journals including Macroeconomic Dynamics, Journal of Macroeconomics, Economic Record, Social Indicator Research and Journal of Business Ethics.

Howard Zhang, Councillor

Howard Zhang is a consultant at Sapere Research Group where he conducts economic research to inform strategies and policies. He provides advice on a range of areas, including economic development strategies, costs and benefits of state investments, regulatory economics and devising mechanisms for resource allocation. Prior to becoming a consultant, he taught economics in the University of Sydney, where he also received a PhD for his work in strategic behaviour models. Outside of work, Howard enjoys reading, travelling and having interesting conversations.


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