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Karen Hussey

Photo of Karen Hussey

Deputy Director-General, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government

Keynote speaker

  • Title: Regional Scale planning for environmental sustainability
  • When: Wednesday 28 June, 4.15–4.35pm
  • Stream: Environmental Sustainability

Professor Karen Hussey was appointed Deputy Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science in May 2020. Karen leads the development and coordination of policy, strategy and legislation relating to the environment, conservation and cultural heritage. She oversees the delivery of strategic programs such as protection of the Great Barrier Reef, waste management and resource recovery, and the Land Restoration Fund. She also leads policy and programs in areas such as heritage, climate change, environmental offsets, biodiversity, koala conservation and State of Environment reporting.

Before taking up her appointment, Professor Hussey established the UQ Centre for Policy Futures in February 2017 and later became the centre’s inaugural director.

In its first year, the centre developed capacity in three key areas:

  • Science, technology and society
  • Sustainable development
  • Trade, foreign and security policy

A political scientist and economist by training, Professor Hussey’s research focuses on policies, institutions and governance arrangements for sustainability.

For more than a decade she has undertaken research and consultancies in the areas of water policy, climate mitigation and adaptation policy, coastal and reef governance, energy policy, natural disasters, the climate-energy-water nexus, and the links between international trade and environmental outcomes (especially in relation to agricultural trade).

She has a particular interest in the challenges and opportunities of making environmental policy in federal systems; and, owing to her time in Brussels (2007–2010), enjoys an enduring interest in the EU–Australia relationship.

Before establishing the Centre for Policy Futures, Professor Hussey was Deputy Director at the Global Change Institute, a role she commenced in September 2015. Prior to joining UQ, Karen was an Associate Professor at the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University.

She has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Melbourne, an M.Econ.Sc from University College Dublin, Ireland, and a BA (Economics and Politics) from the University of Melbourne.

Last updated
21 July 2023
Last reviewed
21 February 2023