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Personal profile


Professor Rebekah Brown is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Senior Vice-President providing leadership, engagement and advocacy in shaping and leading Monash University's research agenda within the changing higher education landscape.

As a member of the University’s Executive, Professor Brown further advances the University’s research performance and diversifying research funding, with a particular focus on national, competitive, government and industry funding.

Professor Brown is also responsible for the development and implementation of Monash’s research infrastructure strategy, including the investment in and provision of leading-edge infrastructure to support the University’s strong research community.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Brown is responsible for expanding research capability, performance and impact, while fostering interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary areas of excellence and collaboration to deliver large-scale, high-impact research programs.

In addition, Professor Brown is responsible for Monash University’s graduate research programs.

Prior her appointment as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Senior Vice-President, Professor Brown held the role of Monash University’s Senior Vice-Provost and Vice-Provost Research (2018-2021). In this role, Professor Brown was responsible for providing leadership for the research and research infrastructure portfolio across diverse functions.

Professor Brown is also the Director of Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE), an action-research program working in the Indo-Pacific with communities, governments, partners and philanthropists to deliver solutions that benefit health, environment, and water and sanitation.

Prior to this, Professor Brown was the Director of Monash Sustainable Development Institute (2014-2018), a leading interdisciplinary research and education centre working collaboratively with government, industry and philanthropists to advance the knowledge, policy and practice of sustainable development.

Previously, Professor Brown was instrumental in the establishment of the $120 million (AUD) Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.

Professor Brown recently led the development of a number of new major initiatives including a new program addressing community resilience following bushfires in Australia, funded by two major philanthropic gifts totalling $50 million (AUD).

As a social scientist with a background in civil engineering, Professor Brown is an expert in sustainable development and a pioneer of interdisciplinary research across the social and biophysical sciences in sustainable water management.

Since early 2000 Professor Brown has pioneered interdisciplinary research across the social and biophysical sciences in sustainable water management. Her research is focused on understanding the social and institutional transformations required to accelerate transitions to more liveable, resilient and sustainable cities.

Professor Brown has published extensively in leading journals including Nature, Science, Global Environmental Change and Water Research.

Professor Brown holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) from Monash University and a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of New South Wales.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

External positions

Research area keywords

  • integrated urban water management
  • institutional analysis
  • urban water governance
  • natural resource management
  • urban sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • socio-technical
  • urban water management
  • cities
  • capacity building
  • transition
  • extreme events
  • past climates of australia
  • climate change policy
  • drought, fire and flood
  • adaptive governance


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or