Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation
Main content start

Q&A with King Center Visitor Rema Hanna

Hanna describes her time at the King Center as a Noosheen Hashemi Visiting Professor.

Rema Hanna was a Noosheen Hashemi Visiting Professor at the King Center from February to March 2024. She is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies and Chair of the International Development Area at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her research revolves around improving the provision of public services in developing and emerging nations, particularly for the very poor.

What appealed to you about visiting the King Center?

Rema Hanna speaking at a lectern
Rema Hanna delivering the keynote speech at PacDev Credit: Rod Searcey, 2024

Stanford has such a great development community, doing interesting and important work.  It was great to have the time to interact with everyone. I had fun going to the King Center’s Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev) and just going for many nice walks across campus with people.

What was a highlight experience during your visit to Stanford?

I met lots of interesting students and postdocs and it was really fun to learn about the various projects that they were working on.

Were you able to make any new connections with scholars at Stanford? How might they contribute to your future work?

I was already working on a project with Arun Chandrasekhar, and it was great to get the opportunity to work together in person.  Zoom has been amazing to help foster research collaborations, but I do think it is somehow more fun and productive to brainstorm in person!

How do you think your research might benefit/evolve from your time at the King Center?

These days, I often feel that I am in a lot of meetings!  It is hard to find time to really think and write.  Being at the King Center gave me an opportunity to have larger blocks of time to think and write, and try to move several projects along.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to do so. 

What would you say to future King Center visiting researchers and scholars about their own prospective visits here? Any tips, advice or insights?

PacDev fell in the middle of my visit and it was awesome!  Lots of great researchers—most junior—presenting new and innovative work.  My tip would be to visit California during the next annual PacDev if you can, and attend!

Reflecting on the resources that the King Center offers its scholars, what unique advantages or opportunities does the King Center offer?

What makes a place special is the people!  The King Center has a wide range of scholars working on important development issues, from gender to education to health.  It was great to learn from everyone!

More News Topics