Turning passion into practice with Crawford graduate Hiroshi Maeda

17 July 2023

“The Crawford School can provide you with knowledge and connections that guide you to where you dream to be in the future,” says Hiroshi Maeda.

Hiroshi Maeda is a Master of International and Development Economics graduate from Nagoya, Japan. This degree is helping him turn his passion for Pacific development into real policy solutions.

His passion for pacific development and diplomacy was ignited when he spent time in Tonga with the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Upon his return to Japan, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an effort to deepen the bilateral relationships with Japan and Pacific island countries. Here, he discovered that he lacked the knowledge and skills to develop mutually beneficial solutions on a range of economic and developmental issues. That is what brought him to the Crawford School.

At Crawford, he found a community of passionate, policy-minded professionals who carry a wealth of knowledge. “Most of my classmates come to study at Crawford during their study leave in government positions,” he explains. Getting to study with policymakers from all across the world has enriched his educational experience.

Crawford academics are more than just researchers – they’re practitioners. “The lecturers also have rich experiences in policy-making in the Asia-Pacific region. We discuss how to analyse and tackle socioeconomic problems based on theory, but we also discuss how theories match or do not match with working experiences,” explains Hiroshi.

Research is embedded in the graduate coursework at Crawford. This allows students like Hiroshi to explore their particular policy interests in greater depth and to learn to analyse policy through a more academically rigorous lens with the support of experts. “I wrote a master’s dissertation titled Temporary migration and expenditure patterns in Tonga. This work has a special meaning to me because my experiences in Tonga and my economic analysis skills became one… Dr Ryan Edwards is my supervisor. He is a terrific supervisor, guiding me in the right direction while keeping my work as independent as possible. His vast experiences in empirical research help me a lot to find the best way of impact evaluation and how my paper should be framed in the literature.” His outstanding academic achievement has earned him the Helen Hughes Prize for which he received special recognition at the Crawford graduation celebration.

For Hiroshi, one of the best experiences that the Crawford School offered was presenting his master’s thesis at the 2023 Pacific Update conference in Fiji. Co-hosted by the Crawford School Development Policy Centre and the University of the South Pacific, Pacific Update is the premier forum for discussion of economic, social, political, and environmental issues in the region. “What a perfect way to end my master’s degree,” says Hiroshi.

So what comes next for Hiroshi Maeda? He is now deciding between continuing his PhD at the ANU and working in the Pacific Islands. But first, he returns to Japan to marry his fiancé Kaori. Congratulations Hiroshi!

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Updated:  20 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team