Scientific Director, J-PAL Southeast Asia
Co-Chair, Social Protection
Member, Executive Committee
J-PAL Affiliated Professor
Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies
Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Rema Hanna is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South East Asia Studies and a Co-Director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) research program at the Center for International Development, Harvard University. In addition, she’s the Scientific Director for J-PAL Southeast Asia.
Rema is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and a faculty affiliate at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. She is particularly interested in understanding how to make government services “work” for the poor in developing countries. She has worked on large-scale field projects with governments and non-profits to understand how to improve safety net systems, reduce bureaucratic absenteeism, and reduce corruption.
Rema serves on the Executive Committee of the J-PAL Board of Directors and on the review boards of J-PAL's Inclusive Financial Innovation Initiative (IFII) and Social Protection Initiative (SPI). She has also lectured at J-PAL training events.
Rema holds a PhD in Economics from MIT and a BS in Public Policy from Cornell University. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, she was a faculty member at New York University.