Rema Hanna is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South East Asia Studies and a Co-Director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) research program at the Center for International Development, Harvard University. In addition, she’s the Scientific Director for South East Asia at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies.
Professor Hanna is particularly interested in understanding how to make government services “work” for the poor in developing countries. She has worked on large-scale field projects with governments and non-profits to understand how to improve safety net systems, reduce bureaucratic absenteeism and reduce corruption. Given the threats to the poor from poor environmental quality, she’s also particularly interested in understanding how developing countries can regulate air pollution and the effectiveness of programs to improve indoor air quality.
Her work has been featured in top economics journals (e.g. American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy) and numerous media outlets. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and a B.S. in Public Policy from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, she was a faculty member at New York University.