Kelle Howson

With a passion for global economic justice and social research, Kelle completed a PhD in Development Studies and now works as a researcher in government.

Kelle, wearing a black scarf and dark grey shirt, stands with her arms crossed in front of trees and high rise buildings.

“Development Studies is an exciting field which spans policy, economics, and geography. My academic research experience proved an asset in the job market and has equipped me with valuable skills for subsequent professional endeavours.”

Kelle’s research was in the field of economic geography, focusing on the impact of ethical certification (e.g. Fairtrade) on global trade networks. She looked at whether ethical certification enabled producers and workers in developing countries to benefit meaningfully from export relationships. To do this she undertook a case study of the South African wine industry.

“I was able to gain a deep insight into a particular political and economic context–the wine-producing regions of South Africa. I spent nine months in the field carrying out research interviews. It was a privilege to be able to think and write in depth about South Africa’s ongoing post-apartheid transformation and it was rewarding to be able to draw broader lessons from this work about efforts to make global trade more ethical.

“I think that anyone who is passionate about contributing to our knowledge about the world and finding solutions to big challenges might consider a PhD in Development Studies.”

Kelle now works as a Researcher for Parliamentary Services. She produces information and provides expertise on policy issues to support the work of the government. “While my PhD has helped me in my career, the greater reward for me was the experience, and the privilege of being part of a global academic conversation.”