Rema Hanna

Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Harvard University at Harvard University


Rema Hanna is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also serves as the Faculty Director of Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard University’s Center for International Development and is the co-Scientific Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South East Asia Office in Indonesia. Her research revolves around improving the provision of public services in developing and emerging nations, particularly for the very poor. She combines economic theory, qualitative field work, extensive data collection, and cutting-edge empirical analysis to offer insights into how governments function and how they can do better. Part of her work focuses on how to improve overall service delivery, as well as understanding the impacts of corruption, bureaucratic absenteeism, and discrimination against disadvantaged minority groups on delivery outcomes. She is particularly interested in how governments can improve and strengthen social protection, tax collection, and environmental safety. Rema holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.