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Dess Pearson

Biography/ Background

Mr Dess Pearson has nearly three decades of public policy experience and has taught Economics at University level for over 10 years.   He is a former First Secretary (Economic) at the Australian High Commission in Ottawa, where he reported on Canadian economic, agricultural and trade policies and their implications for Australia.  At the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra, Dess focussed on South-East Asian trade policies and their implications for Australian trade and his work was published by DFAT’s East-Asia Analytical Unit.  In the earlier part of his professional career, Mr Pearson was a research economist with Australia’s Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics in Canberra.

Dess Pearson has also been a policy advisor at the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science and Resources, where he provided analysis and briefing on APEC, WTO and Free Trade Agreement issues relating to Australia’s manufacturing sector.  He was also a Manager of a Policy Advising unit at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry where he managed the International Wool and Dairy Section.  Since moving to Adelaide in 2007, Mr Pearson has been the Manager, Trade Policy at South Australia’s Department of Trade and Economic Development and more recently, Executive Officer of the South East Forestry Industry Roundtable at the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance. 

With respect to his academic career, Dess Pearson is presently a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Adelaide’s School of Economics and the Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre in Singapore where he lectures in International Trade and Investment Policy II/IID.  Mr Pearson is also Lecturer for the Economics of Climate Change, a Masters’ level course.  Earlier on his career Mr Pearson taught Macroeconomics at the University of Canberra and he also teaches Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and International Economics at the University of South Australia.


Bachelor of Economics (La Trobe University): 1983.

Graduate Diploma in Public Economic Policy (Australian National University): 1988.

Master of Business Administration (Edinburgh Business School, UK): 1999.

Master of Management (Industry Strategy) Australian National University: 2003.

Professional Certificate in International Trade (University of Adelaide): 2009.

Teaching Interests

International Trade, Agricultural Economics, Development Economics, Climate Change and Macroeconomics.


Refereed Journal Articles

Martin, J and Pearson, D (1987):  Costs of Protection in the Japanese Dairy Industry – paper presented at the 31st Conference of Australian Society of Agricultural Economics – University of Adelaide, January.

Pearson D and Domine L (1988): Chapter 6, Dairy Products in Japanese Agricultural Policies - A Time of Change: Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Canberra.

Pearson D (1990):  The Outlook for Base Metals:  paper presented at the National Agricultural and Resources Outlook Conference, January.

Pearson D (1991):  The Outlook for Base Metals:  paper presented at the National Agricultural and Resources Outlook Conference, March.

Pearson D (1992):  Chapter 10 Mineral Products:  in South East Asian Trade Policies and Opportunities, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra.

Other Written Work

As a policy advisor and analyst with several government agencies, I have also prepared a large volume of internal papers, briefs for Ministers, submissions to inquiries (for example, the South Australian Government’s submission to the Commonwealth’s Inquiry on Australia’s Free Trade Agreements (May 2010) which can be located on the Productivity Commission’s website.


Entry last updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2012

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