Andrew Leigh

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Dr Andrew Leigh

Andrew Leigh 2017.jpg
Leigh in 2017
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Fenner
Assumed office
2 July 2016
Preceded byNew seat
Member of the Australian Parliament
for Fraser
In office
21 August 2010 – 2 July 2016
Preceded byBob McMullan
Succeeded byDivision abolished
Personal details
Andrew Keith Leigh

(1972-08-03) 3 August 1972 (age 47)
Sydney, Australia
Political partyAustralian Labor Party
Children3 sons
ResidenceCanberra, Australia
Alma materUniversity of Sydney
Harvard Kennedy School
ProfessionLawyer, academic, political adviser

Andrew Keith Leigh (born 3 August 1972) is an Australian politician, author, and former professor of economics at the Australian National University. He has been a Labor member of the Australian House of Representatives since 2010 representing the seat of Fraser until 2016 and Fenner thereafter. He briefly served as the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2013 and then served as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Competition from 2013 to 2019. Leigh is not a member of any factions of the Labor Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Leigh's early years of education were in Sydney, Melbourne, Malaysia and Indonesia before completing secondary education at James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, New South Wales.[1]

Leigh graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in 1994, and a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours in 1996. He then obtained a Master of Public Administration degree and a PhD in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard, Leigh was a Doctoral Fellow at the Malcolm Wiener Centre for Social Policy from 2002 to 2004, and a Frank Knox Fellow from 2000 to 2004.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Before entering politics, Leigh worked as a lawyer for Minter Ellison in Sydney and Clifford Chance in London from 1995 to 1997. He was then associate to Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia from 1997 to 1998, senior trade adviser to Shadow Minister for Trade Senator Peter Cook from 1998 to 2000, and research fellow with the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. in 2001. Leigh also served as a principal adviser to the Australian Treasury from 2008 to 2009.

Academic career[edit]

Leigh was Professor of Economics at the Australian National University from 2004 to 2010. He also had several visiting appointments at the University of Melbourne, New York University, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics and the University of Michigan.[3] Over his academic career, Leigh published over 50 journal articles in the disciplines of economics, public policy and law and over 100 opinion pieces. His research findings have been discussed in The Australian, The Australian Financial Review, Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, Time, Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Political career[edit]

In the 1995 NSW election, Leigh stood as the Labor candidate for the New South Wales state seat of Northcott, receiving an 8-point swing, but nonetheless losing by a large margin to Barry O'Farrell.[4]

On 24 April 2010, Leigh was selected as Labor's candidate for the Australian federal seat of Fraser[5] following the announced retirement of Bob McMullan. Fraser is a safe Labor seat.[6] Leigh was subsequently elected in the Australian federal election held on 21 August 2010.[7]

Government Ministry[edit]

In 2013, Leigh served as the Government Spokesperson on Opposition costings. Leigh was then promoted into the Ministry of Julia Gillard on the 25 March 2013 as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister following a Cabinet reshuffle in the wake of a failed leadership challenge on Prime Minister Julia Gillard.[8] Leigh, a supporter of Gillard,[9] lost this position after the June 2013 Labor leadership spill.[10]

Shadow Ministry[edit]

After the 2013 federal election, Leigh was appointed by Bill Shorten as Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Competition. After the 2016 federal election, Leigh continued as the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and added the portfolios of Shadow Minister for Competition and Productivity, Shadow Minister for Charities and Not-for-Profits, and Shadow Minister for Trade in Services.

After the 2019 federal election, Leigh was dropped from the outer ministry of the Shadow Ministry of Anthony Albanese due to his decision to remain factionally unaligned. Leigh however was appointed to the parliamentary secretary-level positions of Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Shadow Assistant Minister for Charities.[11]

Honours and awards[edit]

Leigh delivered by the Garran Oration of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. In 2006 he was awarded the Best Discussant Award at the Annual PhD Conference in Economics and Business in 2006 and the Early Career Award by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.[12] Also in 2011 Leigh was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2011, Leigh was awarded the Economic Society of Australia's Young Economist Award. This award, presented once every two years, is given to "honour that Australian economist under the age of forty who is deemed to have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge."[13]

Personal life[edit]

Leigh ran the 2017 Tokyo Marathon in a time of 2:42:48.[14]


  • —; Burchell, David, eds. (2002). The Prince's New Clothes: Why do Australians Dislike Their Politicians. University of NSW Press. ISBN 978-0-86840-604-6.
  • —; Duncan, Magregor; Madden, David; Tynan, Peter (2004). Imagining Australia: Ideas for Our Future. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74114-382-9.
  • — (2010). Disconnected. University of NSW Press. ISBN 978-1-74223-153-2.
  • — (2013). Battlers and Billionaires: The Story of Inequality in Australia. Black Inc. ISBN 978-1-86395-607-9.
  • — (2014). The Economics of Just About Everything: The Hidden Reasons For Our Curious Choices And Surprising Successes. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 978-1-74331-471-5.
  • — (2015). The Luck of Politics. Black Inc. ISBN 9781863957557.
  • — (2018). Randomistas. Black Inc. ISBN 9781863959711.


  1. ^ Armstrong, Amanda (10 August 2010). "Meet the candidate: Andrew Leigh". Life Matters. Australia: ABC Radio National. Archived from the original on 24 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  2. ^ West, Andrew (2 October 2010). "Trading in the lectern for a bully pulpit". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  3. ^ "The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP". Senators and Members. Parliament of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Northcott – 1995". Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  5. ^ Maiden, Samantha (26 April 2010). "Blow to factions in Labor Canberra preselection". The Australian. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  6. ^ "Division Profile – Fraser". Virtual Tally Room. Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  7. ^ Irvine, Jessica (23 August 2010). "First-timers break the mould". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  8. ^ Mosley, Lisa (25 March 2013). "Andrew Leigh takes on new political role". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  9. ^ Peake, Ross (27 June 2013). "'Heavy heart' but I back Rudd as PM: Kelly". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Second Rudd Ministry" (PDF). Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Canberra Labor MP Andrew Leigh falls foul of factions, moves to backbench". The Canberra Times. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Young Economist Award". Awards. The Economic Society of Australia. 2011. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  14. ^ "東京マラソン2017 大会結果 – 東京マラソン 2017 – 東京がひとつになる日。".

External links[edit]

Parliament of Australia
Preceded by
Bob McMullan
Member for Fraser
New seat Member for Fenner