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Anne Tiernan

Professor of Politics and Dean of Engagement

Griffith University

Griffith Business School

Faculty: Expert contributors

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Collaboration and co-production
  • Public policy

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Find out more about ANZSOG’s Future public sector leaders’ series, featuring Professor Anne Tiernan

Anne Tiernan is a Professor of Politics and Dean of Engagement for the Griffith Business School, Griffith University. She recently served as Assistant Public Service Commissioner, Collaboration (Queensland) and is a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a Fellow of ANZSOG.

A political scientist who had earlier careers in Commonwealth and Queensland governments, and in teaching and consultancy, Professor Tiernan is highly respected for her independent, professional and research-informed analysis and commentary on national politics, public administration and public policy. She has a strong media profile across broadcast, print and online platforms and is an experienced public speaker, moderator, facilitator and emce.

Professor Tiernan’s deep content knowledge and professional expertise are well recognised having consulted to and worked with ministers, senior officials and practitioners at all levels of Australian government. Through her work, she has built relationships of confidence and trust with political, bureaucratic and civic leaders on all sides of politics.

Her research focuses on the work of governing and her scholarly interests include: Australian politics and governance, policy advice, executive studies, policy capacity, federalism, and intergovernmental coordination. She has written extensively on the political-administrative interface, caretaker conventions, governmental transitions and the work of policy advising.

Professor Tiernan is author of several books and numerous articles in national and international publications including: 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, MUP 2014), and Learning to be a Minister: Heroic Expectations, Practical Realities (with Patrick Weller, MUP 2010). With colleague Jennifer Menzies, she has published a second edition of Caretaker Conventions in Australasia: Minding the Shop for Government (ANU Press 2014).

She is currently the Chair of the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal, Ordinary Commissioner of the Crime and Corruption Commission and a Member of the Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House. Professor Tiernan was a Member of the Public Records Review Committee of the Queensland State Archives from 2012 to 2016. Between 2008 and 2012 she was a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Queensland Public Service Commission and a Director of St Rita’s College Ltd. from 2013 and 2015.

 Selected publications

Tiernan, A. (2015). The dilemmas of organisational capacity. Policy and Society, 34(3), 209-217.
Rhodes, R. A. W., & Tiernan, A. (2015). Focus groups and prime ministers’ chiefs of staff. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(2), 208-222.
Dickinson, H., Katsonis, M., Kay, A., O’Flynn, J., & Tiernan, A. (2015). Looking to the Past and the Future of the Australian Journal of Public Administration. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 74(1), 1-4.
Tiernan, A. (2015). Craft and Capacity in the Public Service. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 74(1), 53-62.
Tiernan, A. (2015). Reforming Australia’s Federal Framework: Priorities and Prospects. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 74(4), 398-405.
Rhodes, R. A. W., & Tiernan, A. (2014). Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff: Coping with wild treachery and weirdness. In D. Alexander and J. Lewis (eds), Making Public Policy Decisions: Expertise, skills and experience. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, p. 146-165.
Tiernan, A. & Menzies, J. (2015). Caretaker Conventions. In B. Galligan, B. & S. Brenton (eds), Constitutional Conventions in Westminster Systems: Controversies, Changes and Challenges. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 91-115.
Rhodes, R. A. W., & Tiernan, A. (2014). Lessons in governing. A profile of Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Rhodes, R. A. W., & Tiernan, A. (2014). The Gatekeepers: Lessons from prime ministers’ chiefs of staff. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Menzies, J., & Tiernan, A. (2007 and 2014). Caretaker conventions in Australasia: Minding the shop for government. Canberra: ANU Press.