UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Michelle Pawson

Michelle Pawson is a Policy Fellow in the IIPP Policy Studio at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).

Michelle Pawson works as a Strategic Advisor and Principal Policy Analyst with the New Zealand (NZ) Public Service. She leads policy work including, climate change, environment, strategy, risk, and governance. Over her public policy career, she has contributed to numerous projects and legislative reforms, including previously holding the roles of Principal Advisor, Office of the Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment, and to NZ’s Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group. She has led international collaborations between the NZ government and the Stockholm Resilience Centre (2019), and Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, UCL (2020-2021). 
As a Policy Fellow with IIPP, Michelle will be undertaking a 2022-23 public policy research project. She is a Patron of the McGuinness Institute (NZ based non-partisan research and policy think tank) and co-leads an urban reforestation project.
Michelle’s climate change interest is centred around socio-ecological resilience and rethinking public purpose to co-create a more inclusive and equitable future. Her academic background in science, sustainability, planning and resource management, with an interest in new economic thinking and anticipatory governance.