Barbara Allen finished her PhD in Public Policy thesis in 2006, under the direction of SPPA Distinguished Research Professor Bruce Doern. The thesis dealt with the evolution of Canadian procurement policy.

After graduation, Barb took up teaching positions in the UK, starting with the University of Birmingham and then moving to Warwick University and the University of Nottingham. Since 2016, she has been a faculty member at the School of Government at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.

She has maintained an interest in procurement policy, expanding her efforts in a multinational context. For example, Barb is currently undertaking ANZOG funded research, looking at whether strategic procurement in the Australian and New Zealand context is helping or hindering SMEs, along with designing experimental vignettes to test procurement managers’ appetite for sustainable procurement approaches. She recently led a major evaluation of the New Zealand Government’s Performance Improvement Framework.

Barb lives in Wellington with her partner Duncan Lucas, and their son Lance. Barb also has an adult step-daughter, Hannah, who lives in the UK. Duncan’s career has been in social housing in the UK, along with many years in the Army Reserves. Although New Zealand has been a challenging move for them, it has also been rewarding. Barb can usually be found walking on the beaches on the weekend with her family, exploring rock pools and sometimes swimming or kayaking in the cold South Pacific waters.