Doctoral Candidate, Policy Reform and Economics, UNSW

Usman W. Chohan is an international economist-academic who contributes extensively to the Conversation with the aim of bringing a policy reform expertise on pressing issues of social and economic consequence to a wider audience. He is featured as an "Impact Success Story" in the Conversation's 2016 Annual Stakeholder Report [1], and has also been included in the "50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers" of the Conversation (Melbourne University Press, 2016) [2]. Usman has written 30 Op-Eds in both the English and French languages, for four separate arms of the Conversation: Australia, France, Africa, and the United States. In terms of readership, he is among the Top 50 most read academics and Top 10 economists from UNSW on the Conversation.

“The truth is always an abyss. One must dare to dive — like a swimming pool — from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order to later rise again — laughing and fighting for breath — to the now doubly illuminated surface of things.” — Kafka.
Usman W. Chohan (b. Manhattan, New York) is the President and Founder of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots [3], and is fluent in seven Indo-European languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi), while also conversant in a Sino-Tibetan language (Mandarin) and a Construct Auxiliary language (Esperanto) [4]. He studies an Altaic language (Japanese), a Finno-Ugric language (Finnish), and an Afro-Asiatic language (Arabic) when he finds the occasion.

Usman has previously been a Consultant with the World Bank (Social Accountability, WBI), working on issues of fiscal governance reform, and specifically, the implementation of Independent Legislative Fiscal Institutions (IFIs) to help bring impartial and nonpartisan financial expertise into global governance systems [5]. He is a Global Advisory Board Member of Economists Without Borders.

Usman W. Chohan is a leading authority in research within a specialized subfield of legislative studies known as "Parliamentary Fiscal Scrutiny", and his ideas have been used to challenge and contextualize the laws underpinning legislative budget institutions in even the strongest democracies [6], such as in Canada, where his work was used to inform the landmark parliamentary debate on amending the Parliamentary Budget Office Act (C-476, 2013). He was also a contributor to the Independent Review of the Parliamentary Budget Office of Australia in March, 2017.

Previously he has served as the Special Situations Analyst in the Global Equities Team at Natcan Investment Management, the investment arm of the National Bank of Canada. The Global Equities team had six global investment professionals including Usman and $3 billion dollars in Assets under Management (AuM).

Usman is pursuing a PhD in Economics on a full scholarship from UNSW (Australia) [7], where he is creating the world's first multidisciplinary synthesis of Independent Legislative Fiscal Institutions. Usman has an MBA from McGill; and he has done Masters coursework at MIT-Tsinghua [8].

Given his rich 'tri-sector experience' that encompasses private sector, public sector and academia [9], Usman enjoys consulting, research, and teaching in equal measure. He delivered the 2015 Foreign Affairs Lecture in the Global Leadership Program (GLP) at Macquarie University in Sydney [10]. He has been included in the "50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers" of the Conversation (2016) [11].

Usman is also a current Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum [12]. He is the CFO of a Fintech startup: Taqanu Bank.[13] Taqanu Bank is a financial intermediary that aims to promote the financial inclusion of refugees, newly arrived groups, and other disenfranchised communities in the European community and beyond. Taqanu focuses on fintech solutions to create creditworthy identifications for refugees. This helps to validate the financial personhood of the victims of social strife. Taqanu's impact is in giving a much needed fresh start, through the disbursement and deposit of funds, as well as in the development of credit histories, to otherwise isolated groups, so that they needn't remain at the margins of society.

Usman W. Chohan is a regular commentator on economic issues and current affairs, notably through Australia's SBS Multilingual radio in Hindi, French, Urdu, and Spanish. He has also appeared on the BBC, in February, 2017 to discuss international political economy, and in June, 2017 to discuss the Australian economy [14].

Usman became a Contributing Writer for Big Think in March, 2017 [15]. Big Think is a knowledge platform, based in New York City, that draws on the expertise of leading global intellectuals to elaborate on issues of marked public interest.

Given that his last four residences were Montreal, Buenos Aires, Canberra, and Beijing, you will likely find Usman W. Chohan roaming somewhere between these four coordinates at the ends of the earth.



  • 2016–present
    President, International Association of Hyperpolyglots
  • 2017–present
    Contributing Writer, Big Think
  • 2015–present
    Global Shaper, World Economic Forum
  • 2017–present
    Global Advisory Board Member , Economists Without Borders
  • 2016–present
    Chief Financial Officer, Taqanu Bank
  • 2013–2014
    Consultant, World Bank
  • 2008–2012
    Special Situations Analyst, National Bank of Canada


    UNSW , Doctoral Candidate, Economics, Fiscal Policy Reform
  • 2014 
    MIT-Tsinghua, Masters MBA Coursework
  • 2014 
    McGill University, MBA


  • 2017
    Legislative Oversight of the Bureaucracy , Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer International Publishing: New York.
  • 2017
    What is a Charter of Budget Honesty? The Case of Australia, Canadian Parliamentary Review, Vol 40, Issue 1
  • 2017
    Independent Budget Offices and the Politics-Administration Dichotomy, International Journal of Public Administration
  • 2017
    Budget Offices, Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer International Publishing: New York.
  • 2017
    The Presidentialisation Thesis and Parliamentary Budget Offices, Parliamentary Affairs, Vol 70, Issue 2
  • 2017
    Qu’est-ce que une charte de l’honnêteté budgétaire? Le cas de l’Australie, La Revue Parlementaire Canadienne, Vol 40, Issue 1
  • 2016
    Public Value in Politics: A Legislative Budget Office Approach, International Journal of Public Administration
  • 2016
    Young, Educated, and Underemployed: Are we building a nation of PhD-Baristas?, The Conversation Yearbook: 50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers. Melbourne University Press.
  • 2016
    The Idea of Legislative Budgeting in Iraq, International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, Vol 10, Issue 1-2
  • 2016
    A Parliamentary Budget Office in Fiji: Scope and Possibility, Australiasian Parliamentary Review, Vol 31, Issue 2
  • 2013
    Fostering a Community of Practice Among Parliamentary Budget Offices of the Commonwealth, The Parliamentarian Journal - Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Vol 2013, Issue 3
  • 2013
    Canada and the Global Network of Parliamentary Budget Officers, Canadian Parliamentary Review , Vol 36, Issue 3
  • 2013
    Le Canada et le Réseau mondial des directeurs parlementaires du budget, La Revue Parlementaire Canadienne, Vol 36, Issue 3

Professional Memberships

  • Global Shaper: World Economic Forum
  • President: International Association of Hyperpolyglots
  • Secretary-General: World Collective of Sitar Experts (SITARICO)
  • Global Advisory Board Member: Economists Without Borders


"50 Standout Articles from Australia's Top Thinkers" (The Conversation, 2016) | Impact Success Story: The Conversation Annual Stakeholder Report (2016) | President, International Association of Hyperpolyglots (2016) | Full PhD Scholarship (UNSW, 2015) | Global Shaper (World Economic Forum, 2016) | Graduate Award in Governance (World Bank & McGill, 2013) | Research Impact: Two Citations by the Parliament of Canada (Bill C-476, 41, 2013)