Victoria University
Bruce Rasmussen
Director Victoria University Institute of Strategic Economic Studies (VISES)

Professor Bruce Rasmussen became Director of the Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies in 2011, having been Deputy Director since 2001. In this role, he has led a program to increase the focus of its research activities to three programs: assessment of large-scale interventions to improve health and wellbeing; climate change, energy use and sustainability; and technology, inequality and regional diversity in contemporary growth.

Bruce's work has encompassed health economics, regional economics, innovation and economic development. His most recent work has been on estimating the economic returns to investment in health, for WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, US Chamber of Commerce, APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) and the APEC Business Advisory Council, with partnerships with China National Health Development Research Centre and China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2015-2016, he led the work on a UNFPA adolescent project on evaluating interventions to reduce child marriage and intimate partner violence. Other multi-country evaluation studies have estimated the benefit-cost ratios for interventions to treat disease and health conditions for children and mothers, those with mental health issues and for a range of interventions to improve the well-being of adolescents. Two papers with results are published in The Lancet and Journal of Adolescent Health (evaluation child marriage interventions). He currently leads work in Burundi for UNICEF to develop an investment evaluation framework to establish economic and social returns from health and education programs for adolescents.

He has also conducted research for the US Chamber of Commerce on health and productivity. This work has estimated the economic cost of absenteeism, presenteeism and early retirement, with current research being conducted in China.

All photos are courtesy of speakers or their affiliations unless otherwise indicated.