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Gail Pacheco wins top AUT award

26 October 2019

AUT has bestowed its top award on an economist hailed for her research, scholarship and application of integrated data to help inform social policy and wellbeing.

Our Commissioner and Professor of Economics Gail Pacheco has been awarded the 2019 AUT University Medal.

Part of the annual AUT Excellence Awards, which recognise and celebrate excellence in the University’s community, the University Medal is given in recognition of sustained and exceptional academic achievement. 

A member of AUT’s School of Business and Economics for nearly two decades, Professor Gail Pacheco is an internationally respected research leader and scholar. For the past six years Gail has been Director of AUT’s NZ Work Research Institute, and in July she was appointed a Commissioner at the New Zealand Productivity Commission. 

In 2018, Gail received the Economics Award from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the advancement of economics and its applications in New Zealand.

Gail says she is driven by a passion for using evidence to inform policy and help bring about positive social change. Born and raised in the Middle Eastern country of Kuwait, her own experiences as a refugee during the Gulf War in the 1990s brought her face-to-face with the trauma of economic disruption and geographic displacement.

“Those childhood experiences have imbued in me a sense of empathy and resilience, as well as a profound awareness of the role of economic stability for a wide range of life-course outcomes.”

In presenting the award, AUT Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack applauded Gail for the real-life value of her enquiry-driven work, as well as the role her applied econometric work plays in informing policy for a better New Zealand.

Gail acknowledged her many colleagues and collaborators whose dedication and expertise underpin her own contributions and achievements. Read more about Professor Gail Pacheco.

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