Allison Orr

Expertise: Democratic theory, governance, international relations

Dr Allison Orr is Chief Operating Officer at the Centre for Policy Development.

She is responsible for day-to-day management of the organisation and assisting the CEO and the Board in strategy, outreach and research directions. Before joining CPD, Allison was the Chief of Staff in the Division of External Affairs at UNSW, and before this, the Manager of Research and Operations for Per Capita.

She has also worked for the Australian Democrats, Amnesty International and the ABC as Production Manager for Radio News & Current Affairs. From these roles, Allison brings wealth of experience in effective management and governance of policy and not-for-profit organisations in Australia.

Allison is also an accomplished researcher, holding a PhD in Political Science, with a thesis investigating the democratic theory and political language in the digital age, to understand the disconnect between the democratic promise of the early days of the Internet and the dramatic fall in faith in democratic institutions.  She will bring this expertise to the CPD’s Effective Government Program as it looks at how Australia can best ensure that its public institutions deliver active and effective government in the 21st Century.

Allison also has a Master of Arts (International Relations) and a Bachelor of Music from UNSW.  Allison grew up in Sydney, spent five years living in Japan and is a passionate devotee of Mozart.


Partners in Crime found disadvantage for Australia’s most vulnerable people is compounded as they pass

In the media

The long-term trend of declining trust in government, which mirrors a broader political polarisation and decay of trust in institutions more generally, is troubling for policymakers and leaders across the political spectrum.
Despite five prime ministers in five years and policy paralysis in Canberra, Australians don’t want to do away with democracy. They want to save it