Rema Hanna is the Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) research program at the Center for International Development, Harvard University. In addition, Hanna is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), an affiliate of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and an affiliate at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Additionally, as a faculty member at HKS Rema teaches in the MPA/ID Program.
Her research focuses on two main themes. First, she has concentrated on understanding how to improve the provision of public services in developing countries, particularly for the very poor. Her work in this area has ranged from testing models of corruption and bureaucratic absenteeism in the field to understanding how discrimination affects disadvantaged minority groups. Currently, she has been working on a series of field projects to understand what types of individuals are selected to receive social programs under different forms of targeting mechanisms. Second, Hanna aims to understand the implications of environmental policy on poor households in developing countries. Her recent work includes measuring the effects of improved air quality on labor market behavior, as well as assessing the long-run effects of a smokeless cookstove on health and fuel expenditures.
Prior to joining the Kennedy School, Hanna was an Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT and a B.S. from Cornell University with Honors and Distinction.