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Rema Hanna is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies and Chair of the International Development Area at the Harvard Kennedy School. She serves as the Faculty Director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) and is the co-Scientific Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South East Asia Office in Indonesia.
Her research revolves around improving the provision of public services in developing and emerging nations, particularly for the very poor. She combines economic theory, qualitative field work, extensive data collection, and cutting-edge empirical analysis to offer insights into how governments function and how they can do better. She is particularly interested in how governments can improve and strengthen social protection, tax collection, and environmental safety.
Her work has been published in leading economics journals, such as the American Economic Review, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy, among others.
In addition, Rema serves as co-Chair of the editorial board for the Review of Economics and Statistics. She is also on the editorial board of VoxDev, a web platform that aims to provide analysis and evidence on a wide range of policy challenges, in a format that is accessible to a wide audience interested in development.
Prior to joining Harvard, Rema was an Assistant Professor at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).