Dr Hewson has had several careers in academia, bureaucracy, business, politics, and the media. He is currently a Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU, and an Adjunct Professor at Curtin, UTS, Canberra and Griffith Universities, having been Professor and Head of the School of Economics at UNSW, and Professor of Management and Dean Macquarie Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University. He has worked for The Australian Treasury (Census and Statistics), the IMF, the Reserve Bank, the UN (UNESCAP), and the ADB, and often advises senior public servants.
In Business, he was a Founder of Macquarie Bank, Chairman ABN Amro Australia, and Chair/Director of a host of public and private companies, with current positions in insurance broking, renewable energy, and funds management and investment banking. He is Chair, Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia, Chair, BioEnergy Australia, and a Patron of the Smart Energy Council and the Ocean Nourishment Foundation.
Dr Hewson’s specific work on climate change and sustainability, ranges from the '93 Fightback policy promising a 20% cut in emissions by 2000, off a 1990 base, through his role as Member and Chairman of National Business Leader's Forum on Sustainable Development, and as Chair Asset Owners' Disclosure Project, as well as a businessman recognising the opportunities in a genuine response to the challenge of climate change by starting businesses in garbage recycling, energy efficient lightbulbs, bio-diesel plants, green data centres, converting sugar cane into electricity and ethanol, producing ultra pure graphite for lithium-ion batteries and heat storage, coal refining, base load solar, and many others. John was also a Member of the South Australian Government’s Expert Panel on the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy, and Patron of the Smart Energy Council, and Chair BioEnergy Australia and Business Council for Sustainable Development Australia.