Stephen Rimmer graduated from UNE in 1994 with a Doctorate of Philosophy. He has since lived and worked in cities such as Canberra, Washington and Baghdad, specialising in regulatory governance. Today, he works as a Senior Private Sector Development Specialist at the World Bank Group based in Washington DC, and works to implement and support positive reforms in developing countries.
Stephen enrolled in a Master of Arts at UNE to progress his curiosity for policy reform. He studied externally, working full-time as an Economist with the Australian Productivity Commission (then called the Industries Assistance Commission) in Canberra, and was awarded the IAC Post Graduate Scholarship. “Receiving this scholarship had an enormous impact on my life.” The IAC Scholarship provided one year of full-time study, including 6 months on campus, allowing him to focus completely on his thesis. During this time, Stephen published several articles in academic journals, which provided invaluable critiques and peer reviews of his work. As Stephen’s research progressed, so did the direction of his thesis, which was soon upgraded to a Ph.D.
Into The Workforce
Initially, Stephen’s Ph.D. focused primarily on politics, but evolved over time to include economics, econometrics and public administration. “I really appreciated the flexibility UNE provided, including finding additional supervisors with the right skills to support the evolving focus of my theses.” After graduation, Stephen spent 20 years working with the Australian Government. This included a one-year secondment as Senior Economic Advisor based at Parliament House in Canberra, and 10 years as a Senior Executive.
Career opportunities arise when others see that you are capable, can deliver results … and always treat others with decency and respect.
World Bank Group
In 2008, Stephen joined the World Bank Group, based in Washington DC. “I wanted to focus my skills and energies on helping developing countries to alleviate poverty, rather than continue focusing on helping to make Australia become richer.” Stephen specialises in regulatory governance and systems and private sector development in countries affected by conflict. “All of these projects are implemented at the request of developing country governments.” From 2010 to 2013 he worked in Baghdad, and describes this time as the biggest career and personal challenge to date. “This was a very challenging and dangerous assignment but was also incredibly rewarding … we were able to support a range of positive reforms. I also made some lifelong friends while working in Iraq. Today, Stephen is working in several countries as part of expert multidisciplinary teams.
Do the best you can. Career opportunities have a habit of arising when you least expect them, often from people you have never met but who have heard about your good work and reputation.
Author: Zoe Sutherland
UNE Office of Advancement
Ph: 02 6773 2870