Prof Meg Keen


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Meg Keen joined the Crawford School of Public Policy in 2018 to take up the position of Director, Australia Pacific Security College. She leads a program of professional education, technical assistance, and collaboration aimed at strengthening responses to security challenges in the Pacific islands region. Her current research is focused on regional security policy, Pacific human and environmental security (particularly rapid urbanisation, sustainable settlements, informal economies and ocean governance), resilience, effective learning and knowledge brokering. Past research topics include urbanisation in Melanesia, informal economies and ocean governance.

Prior to taking up the directorship of PSC, Meg was a Senior Policy Fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs, College of Asia and the Pacific (2015-18), the coordinator for the departmental research cluster on Pacific island resilience and security; the lead on the Urbanisation in Melanesia research program (2015-19); and the Bell School Director of Research (2017-18). Meg received an award for outstanding contribution to student learning for her leadership of the inaugural New Colombo Plan field school on regional policy making in Suva, Fiji (2018).

Meg has experience as an academic, security analyst, policy maker, and consultant. For ten years (2005-15) she was a senior analyst in the Oceania Branch of the Office of National Assessment (now Office of National Intelligence), and a senior policy adviser in the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (2011-12). Her work as a senior analyst received four Australia Day Awards, and her work with RAMSI received a Police Overseas Service Medal from the Australia Federal Police. She has also worked on resource management in the Pacific islands as a consultant and a senior officer in government.

Prior to her government work, Meg was a senior lecturer in the Graduate Program for Environmental Management and Development (EMD) at the National Centre for Development Studies (now Crawford School of Public Policy). She has worked on research projects across the Asia-Pacific, including most Pacific island countries. Meg has also taught graduate courses in Pacific security, Pacific regional governance, resource decision-making and policy, environmental economics, human ecology and graduate research methodologies. She has extensive experience supervising Masters and PhD students.

Other academic appointments include lecturer Human Ecology, ANU and lecturer Environmental Sciences, Monash University.

Past student projects

Examples of PhD Theses Supervised:

Pendeverana, L.  (Current) Pursuing Livelihoods, Re-Imagining Development: Power, Access and Relationality in Oil Palm Agribusiness on the Guadalcanal Plains, Solomon Islands. (PhD Thesis), Australian National University.

Evans, D. (Current) 'Beyond Next Tomorrow': Youth and Urbanisation in Honiara, Solomon Islands (PhD Thesis), Australian National University.

Rasosudarmo, I. 2007. Has Indonesia's Decentralisation Led to Improved Forestry Governance? (PhD Thesis) Australian National University.

Kelly, D. 2005. Power and Participation: Participatory Resource Management in South-West Queensland. (PhD Thesis) Australian National University.

Veitayaki, J. 2000. Realities in Rural Development: Fisheries Development in Fiji. (PhD Thesis) Australian National University.

Esguerra, E. 1999. Forests, People and Palawan: The Challenges of Implementing the Strategic Environment Plan. (PhD Thesis) Australian National University.


PhD Env Studies (ANU); BA Hons Econ (Queen's)

Researcher's projects

Urbanisation in Honiara: Managing Change, Creating Opportunities.  A large research project funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to: review international, regional and local literature and case studies to map out key issues, practical lessons and policy options relevant to Honiara; consult with key stakeholders and community members about urban management options and preferences; produce a summary report to help Solomon Islands and donors respond to mounting urban pressures.  Ongoing since 2016. Lead Investigator. See reports, articles and media below.

Markets Matter - Informal Markets and their Development Impacts, Solomon Islands. This joint project with UN Women investigated the economic and social values of the infomral markets of Honiara.  It engaged nearly all the vendors in the three largest informal markets of Honiara, documenting the substantial economic earnings, the unmet needs of vendors, linkages between urban and rural areas, the inadequate institutional arrangements, and possible avenues for better outcomes. 2018-2019. See reports and articles below.

Land Management and the Knowledge-Interface in the Asia Pacific.  This project will bring insights from the Mekong Regional Land Governance program (MRLG) into dialogue with land governance experiences in other parts of Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Through country-based and comparative analyses in mainland Southeast Asia, the MRLG is producing assessments of current land transitions (e.g. developments affecting agro-industries, customary tenure & land conflict, their drivers, and the effects on policy and practice. This project will offer broader insights for such work in Asia and the Pacific. Jan-Dec 2019. Co-facilitator.  Reports forthcoming. 

The regional-wide impacts of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) . A study covering all participating police forces in RAMSI to examine the effects of RAMSI outside of Solomon Islands and the implications for future regional interventions and capacity building efforts. 2017-18, Co-Investigator. See reports below.

College of Asia and the Pacific Strategic Partnership grant on Ocean Management in the Pacific Islands: Navigating the Politics and Practicalities.  A collaborative project with the  University of the South Pacific to strengthen collaboration, run a joint workshop and produce supporting reports. June-December 2017. Co-Investigator. See reports below and on DPA website.


Expertise Areas

  • Natural Resource Management
  • Urban Policy
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific


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Network (past 5 years)

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