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Economic young gun makes a difference to developing countries

4th August 2015

At just 31, economist Andrew Blackman has had the ear of some of the most influential decision-makers in South America, East Asia, the Pacific and Africa, advising them on how to improve the quality of life of people living in developing countries.

In recognition of his achievements, Mr Blackman was named a Young Alumnus of the Year at the QUT Outstanding Alumni Awards in Brisbane today.

The awards recognise excellence in professional, academic and research achievements and contributions.

Mr Blackman graduated from QUT in 2004 with a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and went on to complete his Honours in 2005.

His career has seen him work with the Commonwealth Treasury in Canberra, the World Bank in Jakarta, as well as the World Bank's Africa division.

Today he is an economic adviser and institutional manager for the Government of Ecuador.

"As a child I could not stand the sight of blood which immediately ruled out following my parents into the medical profession," he said.

"Still they instilled in me a passion to use my skills to serve disadvantaged areas.

"Driven by this passion, I am committed to using my economics training to make a meaningful contribution to economic development through a career in public policy."

Mr Blackman has led a number of projects that have significantly contributed to continued social and economic reform in Ecuador.

He led a team and authored a report to the Ecuadoran president providing recommendations on where the government should prioritise public spending in relation to infrastructure, education and health sectors.

"This proposal saw the president allocate US$41million to employ more than 2200 health professionals with the goal of reducing the maternal mortality rate by 29 per cent," he said.

"The Ecuadorian Government has achieved incredibly impressive results in terms of improvement in human development outcomes over the past eight years.

"They have dramatically reduced poverty, improved access and quality of public goods and services such as health care, education, water and sanitation, housing and electricity and have reduced inequality.

"For someone from a developed country with my background, the opportunity to work as an adviser in the government of a developing country that is committed to improving the lives of their citizens through good public policy is an exciting opportunity."

Mr Blackman's other achievements include receiving a Corporate Partner's in Excellence Full Academic Scholarship to undertake his QUT undergraduate degree, and graduating with a Masters in Public Administration in International Development at Harvard University in 2014.

Media contact:
Sandra Hutchinson, QUT Media (Tue, Wed), 07 3138 9449 or media@qut.edu.au
After hours, Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901

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