Sean Turnell (Professor of Economics at Macquarie University)

Sean Turnell

Professor of Economics at Macquarie University

Sean Turnell is a Professor of Economics at Macquarie University and a senior Fellow in the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute covering developments in Myanmar, the wider region and international economic issues. From 2016 to 2021 he served as the senior economic consultant to Myanmar’s democratic government led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Following a military coup in February 2021, he was imprisoned along with Myanmar’s democratic leaders. He was finally released in November 2022.
Professor Turnell has written extensively on macro-economic policy making, economic reform and the role of financial institutions in economic development, with a special focus on Australia, Myanmar and the Indo-Pacific. In 2009, his book on Myanmar’s monetary and financial history, Fiery Dragons, was published by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. He addressed AIIA NSW in November 2019; he spoke of China’s growing economic role in Myanmar and said a return to military role was possible but would be highly undesirable for the country’s progress.