Mark is the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. He lead’s a group of about 100 professional and passionate analysts and specialists – in economics, statistics, evaluation, data visualisation, and events and project management. Their aim is to be influential in shaping industry policy in Australia – for the greater good. They do this by working on projects that have three clear attributes: they are strategic in perspective, rigorous in execution, and compelling in reporting. The business model is half think tank, half consultancy.
Mark has led this type of venture for over 20 years, in government, in academia and in a not-for-profit company, and in two countries, Australia and the United Kingdom, leading, harnessing and developing progressively larger teams.
Mark has worked across a broad range of subject matters, a fox not a hedgehog: labour markets, skills and education, immigration, industry, innovation and resources and energy. A common thread to all has been a fidelity to reality, through careful applied data analysis including where necessary generating new primary data sources, such as collaborating with the Australian Bureau of Statistics on developing the Expanded Analytical Business Longitudinal Data Set, a record of every business in Australia and its changing performance over time.
Another abiding theme has been to publish – for policy makers and an intelligent public, not for academics. Writing for, and presenting to, this audience requires a focus on findings not method, clarity and meaning not complexity and jargon, and killer charts and tables that tell a story in a glance. This approach has given Mark’s office a high and credible profile in economic policy circles, recognised through his membership of the CEDA Council on Economic Policy.