Associate Professor Sonia Palmieri

  • 9 Fellows Road, HC Coombs Building


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Associate Professor Sonia Palmieri is Head of the Department of Pacific Affairs, Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs, College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. Her research interests lie in the social and cultural conditions that legitimise women's leadership in political institutions, including parliaments. Her signature contribution has been towards the theorisation and practice of gender sensitive parliaments, having written both academic and practitioner-focused publications and toolkits. In parallel, Sonia explores with students and her disciplinary peers, opportunities and strategies for more inclusive research methodologies, particularly feminist methodologies.

This research agenda is built on 15 years’ experience of working in academic, development and parliamentary institutions. She has held positions with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (in Geneva, Switzerland), the United Nations Development Program (in Hanoi, Vietnam), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (in New York, USA), and the Australian parliament. She has engaged with current and aspiring women in politics in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and - most prominently - the Pacific, and has designed and evaluated development programs for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Research interests

Women's political participation and leadership in the Pacific and globally, gender sensitive parliaments, capacity building for gender research


BA (Hons) PhD (UQ)

Expertise Areas

  • Public Policy
  • Australian Government and Politics
  • Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific
  • Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
  • Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
  • Gender Specific Studies


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