About us

We provide independent advice on complex economic and regulatory issues, and propose policy reforms to drive economic growth, lift productivity and improve living standards across Queensland.

Dr Karen Hooper B.Econ (Hons), Ph.D, GAICD

Dr Karen Hooper, Principal Commissioner

Karen joined the Commission as Principal Commissioner in March 2020. She has extensive policy and leadership experience gained from senior management roles at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and The University of Queensland. Karen is an economist with a Ph.D in economics from The University of Queensland and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has been heavily involved in industry and community engagement and has considerable experience in applying insights and intelligence to support economic analysis and policy development.

Karen has extensive networks in Queensland developed through a variety of roles. For 10 years, Karen was the RBA’s Senior Representative in Queensland and led the Bank’s team of professional staff based in Brisbane. Karen was responsible for the Bank’s business liaison program in Queensland and specialised in industry and regional analysis with a particular interest in the tourism, education and resource sectors. At the RBA, she gained considerable experience in advising on the economic impact of external shocks through her responsibility for monitoring natural disasters in Queensland and supply-side disruptions and regulatory changes affecting Australia’s key export sectors. Early in her career, Karen was Principal Economist at Queensland Treasury, where she worked on a diverse range of economic policy issues.

Karen is a strong advocate for the important role economists can play in helping to deliver improved community outcomes through evidence-based policy advice and community engagement. Karen worked for 10 years with the Queensland Economics Teachers’ Association to deliver seminars to high school economics students to promote an understanding of monetary policy and economic literacy. Karen was also a member of the Queensland University of Technology School of Economics and Finance External Advisory Committee and has participated in The University of Queensland Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Mentoring program. Karen is also past President of The University of Queensland School of Economics Alumni and formerly an Executive Director of the Economic Society of Australia (Qld Branch). Karen is currently a member  of the CEDA Council on Economic Policy, a member of Women on Boards and Secretary of the Queensland Branch of the Women in Economics Network.