Anne Tiernan

Expertise: Public policy, Public administration

Professor Anne Tiernan is Head of Research and Professor of Political Leadership at the McKinnon Institute for Political Leadership – an independent, non-partisan organisation whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness of our political leaders by building the capacity of federal, state and territory members of parliament. Since 2021, Anne has co-led the Institute’s flagship Advanced Political Leadership program.

Anne’s research focuses on the work of governing. She has written extensively on the political–administrative interface, governmental transitions, policy capacity and executive advisory arrangements – particularly the support needs of ministers, the role of the public service, policy influence and public policy agenda-setting.

She has published extensively in Australia and internationally, including The Oxford Handbook of Australian Politics (co-edited with Professor Jenny Lewis, 2021),  Lessons in Governing: A Profile of Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff and The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff (both with R.A.W. Rhodes, Melbourne University Publishing, 2014), Learning to be a Minister: Heroic Expectations, Practical Realities (with Patrick Weller, Melbourne University Press, 2010) and Power Without Responsibility: Ministerial Staffers in Australian Governments from Whitlam to Howard (UNSW Press, 2007).

Previously a member of Griffith University’s senior leadership team, Anne served as inaugural Dean (Engagement) of the Griffith Business School, where she led development of the Group’s internationally acknowledged Engagement Strategy and operating model.

Professor Tiernan is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia, and a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and has held a range of Board appointments. These include: the Commonwealth Grants Commission, the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (2017-2020), Chair of the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal (2016-19), an Ordinary Commissioner for the Crime and Corruption Commission (2017-2020). From 2008 to 2012, she was a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Queensland Public Service Commission and also served on the Board of St Rita’s College Ltd.


In the media

Stitching together and sustaining political support across the divides revealed by the Pulse is a test of Australia's institutions