Our mission is to explore ideas for sustainable economic development of the nation

Our Vision

Crescent Think Tank is an independent, not-for-profit Australian policy think tank founded by academics with a mandate to generate new ideas and dialogue on the issues of nation building, Australian infrastructure, socially responsible investment and Islamic finance.

Our Mission

To identify value propositions that explore ideas, thinking and investment, as well as encourage and ferment support for equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic development of the nation and its infrastructure.

Open Access

Crescent Think Tank, its events and all academic publications are open and accessible to all members of the public. Should you be interested in the attending any of our event, co-writing any of our papers, or discussing any relevant matters with you, please do not hesitate to contact us, we would be delighted to hear from you

Our Objectives

Build awareness

through academic publications and events that bring together-like minded academic leaders and thinkers.

Promote research

to support the development of knowledge and understanding in the areas of nation building , infrastructure and Islamic Finance.

Encourage

and guide development to open new opportunities for financial institutions to grow by adopting responsible finance practices.

Editorial Board

DI-YERBURY

Emeritus Professor Dianne Yerbury AO

Co-Chair

Emeritus Professor Di Yerbury AO
Crescent Wealth

Co-Chair

The inaugural Co-Chair of Crescent Think Tank. Di Yerbury is a not only a distinguished Australian businesswomen, academic and university administrator, but an accomplished, generous, caring, and down-to-earth individual who is passionate about encouraging awareness of the value of international educational and cultural experiences in helping young people, to develop into compassionate leaders and world citizens.

Di holds an LLB (Hons), a Grad Dip in Industrial Administration, a PhD from Melbourne University and has expertise in the arts, education, government, international operations, and public administration. She is the recipient of 3 Honorary Doctorates and 3 (Australian and international) Fellowships. She is an Emeritus Professor of both UNSW and Macquarie University and became Australia’s first woman Vice-Chancellor when she took up the role at Macquarie University in January 1987. By the time she retired in 2006, she was Australia’s longest serving VC.

She has served as a Director on numerous business, government, higher education, arts and non-profit boards since 1983, and continues to do so. She has chaired or been a member of more than 20 reviews for governments in Australia and overseas. She continues to serve as Patron, Chair or Board Director of many arts bodies. She was Telstra NSW Business Woman of the Year in 2001 and a key pioneer and policy developer in international education since the early 1980s, and later chaired IDP Education Australia for 9 years.

Di also serves as Chair of Crescent Wealth and until recently Chair of the Crescent Foundation.

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Professor Allan Wain
Harvard University
Co-Chair

Professor Allan Wain
Harvard University

Co-Chair

Allan is a Senior Adviser to Lighthouse and is responsible for the strategy and research activities of Lighthouse. Dr Wain has 24 years’ experience in infrastructure, funds management, and economics, is a LWP Fellow, Harvard law School, Harvard University, and has authored and co-authored several papers on economics, infrastructure, fiduciary duty, and Islamic finance.

Dr Wain has studied at the University of Melbourne, Stanford University, Harvard University, and Imperial College and is a Member of the American Economic Association, of the American Society of International Law, of the Royal Economic Society, and of the Academy of International Business.

Prior to joining Lighthouse, Dr Wain has worked at CP2, Hastings Funds Management, KPMG and BHP.

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Dr Ashby Monk

Stanford University

Dr Ashby Monk
Stanford University

Member

Dr Ashby Monk is the Executive and Research Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center at Stanford University, a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford, and a Senior Advisor to the Chief Investment Officer of the University of California.

Dr Monk’s extensive research and writing on institutional investment, asset management, and financial innovation, has featured in many prominent publications. Dr Monk has created several companies and platforms to activate innovative investments and research, including the Aligned Intermediary, Long Game Savings Inc, and the Institutional Investors Roundtable.

He received his Doctorate in Economic Geography at Oxford University and holds a Master’s in International Economics from the Universite de Paris I – Pantheon Sorbonne and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Princeton University.

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Professor Najat El Mekkaoui

Paris Dauphine University

Professor Najat El Mekkaoui
Oxford University

Member

Najat El Mekkaoui is senior economist, professor at Paris Dauphine University and distinguished research fellow at the Smith School, University of Oxford University.

Her researchs are mainly on ageing, social protection, pension and households behaviors. She coordinates projects on pension reforms, development, savings and ageing.

She collaborated with the World Bank concerning a project on the systems of retirement in Morocco and in the MENA region. She published and took part in the publication of several works, chapters or papers in her research fields, in particular social protection, retirement, pension and saving.

Each year she also coordinates an International Workshop on Pension, Insurance and Saving which takes place at Paris Dauphine University. She is a member of the national council of human rights in Morocco since 2011.

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Associate Professor Michael Rafferty

RMIT - Melbourne

Associate Professor Michael Rafferty
RMIT - Melbourne

Member

Mike has undertaken research on work, labour markets, skills development, occupational health and safety, and financial aspects of working life, including mortgage stress, superannuation and retirement. He has also written on the shifting of life course risks from employers and the state to workers and households and the growing role of financial markets in managing those risks. Previously, he was MBA Program Coordinator at the University of Wollongong. Mike holds a PhD in economics and has taught at universities in Australia and Europe.

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Professor Talal Yassine OAM

Australian National University

Professor Talal Yassine OAM
Australian National University

Member

Talal Yassine is the Managing Director of Crescent Wealth and an Adjunct Professor within the Business School, Western Sydney University and a Honoary Professor at Australian National University.

After 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Director and Strategist, Talal joined investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia.

Talal serves as the Chairman of Quay Capital, the Australian Arab Dialogue Limited, and as the Patron of the Crescent Institute Ltd. He also serves on the Board of the Whitlam Institute Ltd and the Western Sydney Foundation Council.

Talal has previously served on the Board of Australia Post, Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and as the Chairman of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Council of Australian Arab Relations.

Talal holds a Master of Laws, a Master of Business Administration and several undergraduate degrees.

On Australia Day 2010, Talal was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to business and to the community through a range of education, health and multicultural organisations.

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Professor Abdullah Saeed

Melbourne University

Professor Abdullah Saeed
Melbourne University

Member

Professor Abdullah Saeed is currently the Sultan of Oman Professor of Arab and Islamic Studies (since 2004), the Director of the National Centre for Contemporary Islamic Studies, and the Convenor of Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities.

He holds a PhD in Islamic studies and Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on one of the most important issues in Islamic thought: the negotiation of text and context, ijtihad and interpretation. He is a strong advocate of reform of Islamic thought.

His publications cover areas such as Islamic banking and interest, Islam and human rights, contemporary approaches to the interpretation of the Qur’an, and Islam in the West.

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Mr Blake Gould

CEO - Responsible Finance and Investment - London

Mr Blake Gould
CEO - Responsible Finance and Investment - London

Member

Blake Goud is the CEO of the RFI Foundation, a position he has held since the organization’s incorporation. He was the Chief Research Officer for ME Global Advisors where he focused on MENA financial sector development and the growth of the Islamic economy. He was responsible for leading ME Global Advisors' research efforts as well as advising on the content of the events organized by ME Global Advisors. His primary area of interest global Islamic banking, capital markets and opportunities to increase financial inclusion in Islamic finance through crowdfunding and microfinance.

Blake has nearly a decade experience researching Islamic finance and working in the financial sector in a compliance and investment officer role for a small US-based investment advisor and broker-dealer. He was the Community Leader for the Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Gateway from 2012 to 2015. At Thomson Reuters, he conducted research and analysis on the Islamic finance and Islamic economy sectors, set discussion points for large-scale events and one-on-one sessions with leaders of the Islamic finance industry. He drafted white papers following events including the IILM roundtables in London, UK and Washington, DC and was a principal author of the GIES 2013 Review following the Global Islamic Economy Summit organized in collaboration with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre.

His published research includes papers on Islamic microfinance, renewable energy microfinance and public finance using the esham structure to develop a flexible alternative for tax increment finance. He received his B.A. in Economics from Reed College in 2003.

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