Staff Profile

Dr Aruna Sathanapally joined Grattan Institute as CEO in February 2024. She heads a team of leading policy thinkers, researching and advocating policy to improve the lives of Australians. A former NSW barrister and senior public servant, Aruna has worked on the design of public institutions, economic policy, and evidence-based public policy and regulation for close to twenty years.

Before joining Grattan, Aruna worked for the NSW Treasury for over five years, where she headed up analysis and advice across the macroeconomy division, state-owned corporations, state and commonwealth revenue, and health and justice reform. She led the 2021 NSW Intergenerational Report and led the economic analysis for the 2022 Women’s Economic Opportunities Review. 

Aruna previously practised as a senior lawyer in the Civil Regulation group at the Australian Government Solicitor and then as a barrister at 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, specialising in cases involving complex economic evidence. Prior to returning to Australia 11 years ago, Aruna worked at McKinsey & Company’s London office with a range of private and public sector clients.

She holds arts (economics and politics) and law degrees from UNSW, where she graduated with the University Medal in Law, and two masters degrees in law and a doctorate from the University of Oxford, where she studied as a Menzies Scholar and John Monash Scholar. She has published internationally in the field of constitutional design and human rights and was appointed in 2015 as external legal adviser to the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Human Rights. 

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