I am the Executive Director of The New Zealand Initiative, a public policy think tank in Wellington, New Zealand.
From October 2008 until April 2012 I was a Research Fellow in the Economics Program of the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia.
Previously I worked for think tanks in Britain (Policy Exchange and the International Policy Network), and I was the UK representative for the German Institute for Free Enterprise. For a brief time I also worked as an adviser to Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay in the House of Lords.
I am a member of the Mont Pelerin Society and the Foreign Correspondents’ Association (Australia and South Pacific).
My academic background is in business administration and economics. I received the degree of a Diplom-Ökonom from Bochum University in Germany.
Following on from that, I wrote a doctoral thesis in law about the history of German and Australian unfair competition law. During my postgraduate studies, I was a visiting fellow at the University of Sydney Law School and a research fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany. I received my Dr. iur., summa cum laude, from Bochum University.
In my think tank work I have dealt extensively with housing, transport, urban regeneration and infrastructure questions. Some of my proposals (such as the British Office for Budget Responsibility or giving councils better incentives for development) have been implemented by government. Others caused controversy. One has even gained me a personal recommendation from David Cameron to leave Britain for Australia rather sooner than later (which I do not regret).
Working for a think tank is all about introducing new ideas into public debates. I have tried this by writing articles for a wide variety of international magazines and newspapers. When I worked in London, I was a columnist for Capital, one of Germany’s leading business magazines. I wrote weekly column on European affairs for the Australian Business Spectator from 2010 until 2016. You can find most of my articles published over the past years here.
Apart from that, I enjoy talking about politics and ideas on radio and TV. Some of my recent media appearances can be found in the ‘In the media’ section.