Our Team

The e61 Institute is passionate about developing Australia’s talent pool in the field of economics and econometrics.

We welcome applications from candidates that are intellectually curious and have an outstanding track record, who want to develop their research skills while working on the most interesting economic challenges in the private and public sectors.

Team

Michael Brennan is the CEO at the e61 Institute
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Michael Brennan

Chief Executive Officer

Gianni La Cava is a Research Director at the e61 Institute
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Gianni La Cava

Research Director

Pelin Akyol is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Pelin Akyol

Research Manager

Nick Garvin is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Nick Garvin

Research Manager

Silvia Griselda is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Silvia Griselda

Research Manager

Rose Khattar is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Rose Khattar

Research Manager

Matt Nolan is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Matt Nolan

Research Manager

Ewan Rankin is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Ewan Rankin

Research Manager

Lachlan Vass is a Research Manager at the e61 Institute
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Lachlan Vass

Research Manager

Nicole Adams is a Senior Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Nicole Adams

Senior Research Economist

Jack Buckley is a Senior Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Jack Buckley

Senior Research Economist

Aaron Wong is a Senior Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Aaron Wong

Senior Research Economist

Matthew Olckers is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the e61 Institute
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Matthew Olckers

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ali Yasin Vergili is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the e61 Institute
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Ali Yasin Vergili

Postdoctoral Researcher

Erin Clarke is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Erin Clarke

Research Economist

Elyse Dwyer is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Elyse Dwyer

Research Economist

Rachel Lee is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Rachel Lee

Research Economist

Matthew Maltman is is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute
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Matthew Maltman

Research Economist

Matt Elias is a Pre-doctorate Economist at the e61 Institute
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Matt Elias

Pre-doctorate Economist

Theo Gibbons is a Pre-doctorate Economist at the e61 Institute
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Theo Gibbons

Pre-doctorate Economist

Zach Hayward is a Pre-doctorate Economist at the e61 Institute
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Zachary Hayward

Pre-doctorate Economist

Harshit Shah is a PhD Internship Analyst at the e61 Institute
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Harshit Shah

PhD Internship Analyst

Francesca Gnocchi is the Operations Director at the e61 Institute
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Francesca Gnocchi​

Operations Director

Andrea Way is the Office Manager at the e61 Institute
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Andrea Way

Office Manager

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Michael Brennan

Chief Executive Officer

Michael Brennan is the CEO of the e61 Institute. He is an experienced economic policy professional, having been a former Chair of the Australian Productivity Commission and Deputy Secretary of the Australian Treasury. He has also worked as a Deputy Secretary in the Victorian Treasury, and as a consultant as well as an adviser to Federal and State Treasurers and Ministers for Finance.

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Gianni La Cava

Research Director

Gianni La Cava is Research Director at the e61 Institute. He previously held several senior positions at the Reserve Bank of Australia, including leading a research team – Micro Analysis and Data (MAD) – dedicated to examining macroeconomic issues using microeconomic data. Gianni holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts/Commerce from the University of Sydney.

Gianni’s research focuses on answering big policy questions with micro data and covers topics such as household wellbeing, inequality, the housing market, and the role of the financial sector in the economy.

​For more information about Gianni's publications go here.

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Pelin Akyol

Research Manager

Pelin Akyol, with a Ph.D. in Economics from Penn State University, is an applied economist with a diverse research portfolio in the fields of Economics of Education, Labour Economics, Demographic Economics, and Health Economics. 

 

Leveraging both structural and reduced-form methodologies, her research examines factors influencing both educational and labour market decisions, as well as their impact on social issues and public programs, with a special focus on gender and demographic inequalities. Her research outputs have been published in top economics journals and featured in VoxEU and EducationWeek.  Additionally, she has secured several research grants and fellowships. She has also been a research fellow at the Global Labor Organization (GLO) and Economic Research Forum (ERF).

 

Dr. Akyol also brings extensive academic experience. She has served as an Assistant Professor at Bilkent University in Turkey, where she supervised several postgraduate students in applied microeconomics and taught several courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also served in various administrative roles and academic research committees. 

 

For further information on Dr. Akyol's work, please visit her website: https://spelinakyol.weebly.com/

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Nick Garvin

Research Manager

Nick specialises in microeconometric research for Australian economic and financial policy. His experience includes research at e61, RBA and APRA on topics related to housing, mobility, superannuation, financial stability, financial markets, and payments, and as an econometrics lecturer at UNSW. Nick holds a PhD in Economics from Pompeu Fabra University, a Masters in Economics from London School of Economics, and Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Psychology from Macquarie University.

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Silvia Griselda

Research Manager

Silvia Griselda is an accomplished economist dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion within economics. Her educational background and professional experience have made her a key advocate for women's representation and advancement in the field.

 

She earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Melbourne and subsequently contributed to the AXA Gender Lab at Bocconi University as an academic. Currently, she is the Research Manager at the Education and Human Capital Unit of the e61 Institute, leading impactful projects on the gender pay gap, childcare, labour force participation, and education policies.

 

Her research has been published in renowned academic journals and featured in outlets such as The Conversation, Vox EU, the Australian Financial Review (AFR), and The Australian. Her accolades include the UniCredit Foundation’s Best Paper Award in Gender Economics and the Mardi Dungey Prize for Best Paper at ANU.

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Rose Khattar

Research Manager

Rose is an economist dedicated to advancing evidence based public policy. She has worked in the public and not-for-profit sectors with her career spanning Australia, the United States and international organisations. Most recently, she was the Director of Economic Analysis at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC

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Matt Nolan

Research Manager

Matt is a research manager at the e61 Institute and a sessional lecturer at Macquarie University. His research is focused on analysing income distributions using microdata, with a focus on how taxes, transfers, and changes in labour market settings influence the distribution of income.

Matt previously worked at the Inland Revenue Department of New Zealand and as a teaching fellow at Victoria University of Wellington. He holds a PhD in Philosophy (Economics) from Victoria University of Wellington.

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Ewan Rankin

Research Manager

Ewan is a research manager focused on our Productivity and Structural Analysis workstream. Ewan has more than a decade of experience in economic analysis to support monetary policy at the Reserve Bank of Australia. He has an Economics honours degree from University of Sydney and an MPA from Princeton University.

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Lachlan Vass​

Research Manager

Lachlan is a Research Manager at e61, currently on leave completing a PhD in Economics at the Australian National University. He leads work at the intersection of economics, data and public policy, with a current focus on immigration and productivity.

 

Lachlan’s work experience spans the private and public sectors, both in Australia and internationally. This has included  working at the Australian Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom and Economic Insights (formerly AlphaBeta). In these roles he led teams bringing economics and novel data together to help inform, advise and solve policy issues across a range of policy areas, including social policy, financial markets, trade and labour markets.

 

Lachlan holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and Honours (Economics) from the University of Melbourne.

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Nicole Adams

Research Economist

Nicole Adams is a Senior Research Economist at the e61 Institute.

She previously worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia in a range of roles, analysing household balance sheets, commercial property markets, capital flows and foreign exchange markets.

Nicole holds an honours degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia.

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Jack Buckley

Senior Research Economist

Jack Buckley is a Senior Research Economist at the e61 Institute where he works across the structural policy and education workstreams. He has previously co-authored research looking at the mental health costs of job loss, the economic impact of unfair dismissal laws and productivity-enhancing labour reallocation.

Jack graduated from the University of New South Wales with First Class Honours and the University Medal in economics and a Bachelor of Science majoring in statistics.

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Aaron Wong

Senior Research Economist

Aaron Wong is a senior research economist at e61 Institute. His research focuses on the intersection of labour and urban economics, using micro data to understand how location shapes the decisions made by Australians on where to live and work.

Aaron previously worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia, where he analysed Australia’s housing markets, contributed to economic forecasts and examined financial risk to the RBA’s domestic portfolio.

He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales where he graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Economics.

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Matthew Olckers

Postdoctoral Researcher

Matthew Olckers is an applied microeconomist specialising in social networks, development economics, and household finance. His research uses a broad range of methods, including field experiments, machine learning, mechanism design, and qualitative analysis. Before joining e61, Matthew held research fellowships at UNSW Sydney and Monash University. He serves on the leadership of EAAMO, a global community of researchers working towards equity and access.  Matthew received his PhD in economics from the Paris School of Economics and his undergraduate degree from the University of Cape Town.

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Ali Yasin Vergili

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ali recently completed his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on applied microeconomics, specifically in development economics, education economics, and demographic economics. Ali utilised microdata to investigate various micro behaviors, providing insights into the consequences of legal reforms, fertility decision-making processes, and the dynamics of auction markets

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Erin Clarke

Research Economist

Erin is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute. So far, her research has explored topics related to social policy, structural policy, education and labour economics.

Erin graduated from the University of Technology Sydney where she earned First Class Honours and the University Medal in Economics.

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Elyse Dwyer

Research Economist

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Rachel Lee

Research Economist

Rachel is a Research Economist at the e61 Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Philosophy with First Class Honours in Economics from the University of Western Australia. Prior to e61, Rachel completed the graduate program at Deloitte Access Economics where she worked on projects in the digital economy, education, tourism, and other sectors.

Rachel is currently conducting research in structural policy reform, including states’ payroll taxes and its effects on firm growth, and entrepreneurship and innovation in Australia.

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Matthew Maltman

Research Economist

Matthew Maltman is a Research Economist at the e61 institute.

He previously worked at the Australian Productivity Commission, where he focused on various policy issues including education, public transport, and housing policy. He is passionate about housing affordability and writes on the impact of housing supply reforms globally.

Matt holds a degree in Economics from the University of Western Australia, where he graduated with First Class Honours.

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Matt Elias

Pre-doctoral Economist

Matt is a pre-doctoral economist at the e61 Institute, using big data to answer applied economic questions. He has previously conducted research on a broad range of topics including household finance, inequality, competition and monetary policy.

He graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Economics with Honours in Econometrics, earning First Class Honours and the University Medal.

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Theo Gibbons

Pre-doctoral Economist

Theo has recently graduated from the University of Queensland with first class honours in the Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics. His thesis focused on examining the impact of labour misallocation arising from housing markets in Australia.

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Zach Hayward

Pre-doctoral Economist

Zachary is a pre-doctoral economist at the e61 institute. He is interested in using microdata to answer causal questions and novel econometric techniques.

Zach holds a Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours Class I) majoring in economics from the University of Queensland (UQ). His thesis investigated the causal impact of antenatal alcohol consumption on child health outcomes, while correcting for misreporting.

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Harshit Shah

PhD Internship Analyst

Harshit Shah is a PhD Intern at the e61 Institute. He holds a master's degree in economics from the Australian National University and is currently pursuing his PhD in Economics at the same institution. 

His doctoral research investigates the causal effects of improving inheritance rights for women, on their children's educational outcomes. Previously, Harshit worked as a researcher at the John Mitchell Economics of Poverty Lab, where he focused on examining the scalability of early childhood interventions.

Harshit is interested in conducting rigorous research on complex economic dynamics and their impact on public policy.

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Francesca Gnocchi

Operations Director

Francesca has been working within operation roles for over 7 years. She completed a bachelor's degree in Bank and Finance in Italy and then worked as Data Analyst in an energy consulting company. Since moving to Australia, she has worked in different industries. Her focus at e61 is to help build operations systems and to create and foster a collaborative and positive culture.

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Andrea Way

Office Manager

Andrea joins us following a strong background in both Executive Support and Office Management within both small & large corporations.   She is an accomplished professional with over 30 years’ experience in both London & Australia and is known for her exceptional organisational skills and commitment to delivering results.

Andrea oversees e61's events, social media and website and provides operational and administration support to the team.