Visiting Fellow in public policy/water, Australian National University

Between 2007 and early 2011 Dr Horne was Deputy Secretary in the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment Water, Population and Communities, with responsibility for Water, where he led the development of water policy in the Australian Government. He was Chair of the Murray Darling Basin Basin Officials Committee and the Council of Australian Governments’ Water Reform Committee.

James held senior executive positions in the Australian government over the past 20 years, including in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (as Head of the Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Division, including responsibility for COAG) and the Australian Treasury including as General Manager of its Macroeconomic Policy Division. James was Minister (Economic) at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo between 1994-1996. In 2005-2006 he was Chief Executive of South Australia’s Department of Transport Energy and Infrastructure.

In January 2011, James retired from the Australian public service to find new challenges in water and elsewhere. He is a member of the International Steering Committee, XVth World Water Congress 2015, and the editorial board of the Journal of Water Resources Development. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the ANU.

He holds a Phd from the Australian National University and in 2002 completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University. In 2010 he was awarded an Australian Public Service Medal (PSM) for his contribution to Australian water policy.

Recent publications include
• Horne (2013) Economic approaches to water management in Australia, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Volume 29 Number 4 2013 pp. 526-543
• Horne (2013) The 2012 Murray-Darling Basin Plan – issues to watch, International Journal of Water Resources Development, pp. 1-12
• Grafton & Horne (2014) Water Markets in the Murray-Darling Basin, Journal of Agricultural Water Management DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2013.12.001

Specialties: macroeconomic and microeconomic policy issues, water policy, infrastructure policy


  • –present
    Visiting Fellow in public policy/water, Australian National University


  • 1983 
    ANU, Phd


PSM, 2010