(Bloomberg) -- The Reserve Bank of Australia announced that Sarah Hunter will move from the Treasury to become the central bank’s assistant governor and chief economist starting next month, in yet another external appointment at the RBA.
Hunter, who oversees the analysis of current conditions and economic forecasts at Australia’s Treasury and advises the government on a range of policy issues, will start in her new role on Jan. 29, the RBA said in a statement Thursday.
Hunter will lead the RBA’s economic group which compromises analysis and research. The position was previously held by Luci Ellis who resigned in July to join Westpac Banking Corp. as chief economist. Ellis was among the high-profile departures from the RBA in the past year.
Last week, the government appointed former Bank of England official Andrew Hauser as the new deputy governor of the RBA, filling the position vacated by Michele Bullock when she became the central bank chief. The external appointments come amid an overhaul at the RBA, which had been criticized for being insular and falling into group think.
Hunter will bring “a unique and diverse perspective” to the RBA and the leadership team, Bullock said in a statement.
Hunter, for her part said: “I am very much looking forward to working with the Governor, the leadership team and the RBA’s highly skilled and expert staff. The incoming assistant governor holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Oxford.
The changes at the RBA — Bullock taking the helm in September, and Hauser and Hunter to start next year — follow an independent review of the institution which made 51 recommendations including setting up a new monetary policy committee and fewer interest-rate meetings.
The RBA has delivered significant policy tightening since May 2022, having raised the cash rate to 4.35% from just above zero.
The aggressive moves to tackle inflation have drawn criticism from some lawmakers and commentators for putting too much pressure on Australia’s highly-leveraged households. The RBA kept the rate at a 12-year high on Dec. 5 and is next scheduled to decide on policy in February.
--With assistance from Michael Heath and Victoria Batchelor.
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