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Guest speaker for 2016...

Gordon Menzies is Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He began his career at the Australian central bank, but has been in academia since 2003. He holds a Masters Degree in Economics from the Australian National University, where he won a prize for the best student, and was a Commonwealth scholar at Oxford over 1998-2001. He holds a number of prizes for teaching economics and in 2010 he was co-recipient of the international Arrow Senior prize for his research on belief formation ('inferential expectations'). He is Deputy Director of the Paul Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality at UTS. His mainstream research straddles; expectations, exchange rates and international trade, development, financial regulation and central banking. He began working explicitly on Christianity and Economics during his doctorate, under the supervision of Donald Hay. The pair have co-authored a number of journal articles in this area, and they have a piece on human nature in the Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics. He has contributed to domestic commentary on tax, refugee policy and ethics, both as an academic and as a Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity. He is a leader in the student evangelical movement at UTS, with responsibilities for postgraduate students and staff. He lives in the Blue Mountains, 70 kilometres West of Sydney.

Meet the team...


Benjamin Beranek is a PhD researcher in the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics in the School of Economics, University of Nottingham. He uses the tools of experimental economics to study social preferences, cooperation, and corruption across cultures. His work has been featured in seminars at academic conferences and published in academic journals. He has taught at Izmir University of Economics in Turkey and University of Nottingham in the UK. He has an MA in Financial Economics from Izmir University of Economics and an MSc in Behavioural Economics from University of Nottingham. Benjamin, while often riding his bike Sunday mornings, can generally be found at the evening services of St. Mary’s Church Wollaton Park where he co-leads the Tuesday night House Group.

Peter Eckley is a Senior Economist at a leading central bank. Prior to this he worked as an independent strategy consultant in the telecoms industry, while researching for an MPhil and PhD in Economics at the University of Oxford. Previously he was a Manager at Analysys Mason, leading consulting projects for clients across four continents. Peter holds a BA and MSci in Physics from the University of Cambridge, and studied for a year at MIT and the Sloan School of Management. Peter and his wife teach Sunday school at their local Anglican church.


Ranjeet Guptara Headshot from Marissa Maharaj.jpg

Ranjeet Guptara is a Portfolio Manager at Cantab Asset Management.  Since 2001, Ranjeet has worked for UBS, Credit Suisse and DEPFA, where he was Chief Operating Officer for Public Sector Finance.  Ranjeet founded a food company, King's Kurry, where he was CEO. He also co-founded  Ranjeet has completed two M.A.s in Theology, at Magdalen College, Oxford, and Ridley Hall in Cambridge.  He holds a Swiss Banking Diploma and the MCSI from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.  He is married to Davita, and they have a daughter.


Andrew Hood is a Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Europe's leading microeconomic research institute. He has co-authored a number of reports explaining and projecting changes in the distributions of income and wealth, and has particular expertise on the effect of tax and benefit policies. He has also authored academic articles on the impact of the Great Recession on income distribution in the UK, and the impact of inheritances on the distributions of wealth and lifetime income. In the run up to the 2015 election, he gave a number of TV and radio interviews on UK public policy.  Andrew studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and is currently finishing off a masters in economics at University College London. He is a member of Inspire Church, a central London church plant.


Arttu Makipaa is senior adviser at an international organization working on peace and reconciliation. Before this, he used to work on economic governance and public finance as a policy adviser. Arttu has also researched and taught at the University of Heidelberg and the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) in Bonn and worked in consulting both private and public sectors. He holds an MA in Economics from University of Heidelberg. His recent research interests have been on Christian social ethics, and he is completing an MA in Theology. Arttu is a lay minister at Holy Trinity Brussels. He married to Sara, a Dutch jazz singer-songwriter, and they have two children.

Katerina Shaton is a PhD researcher at Molde University College, Norway. Her research is devoted to socio-economic evaluations of infrastructure projects in the gas transport sector. She studies various aspects of gas infrastructure development, from tariff regulation to environmental effects of gas production and transportation. She also teaches courses such as Game Theory and Industrial Organization. She has an MSc in Industrial Logistics from Molde University College and a BSc in Economics from Belarusian State University. She is active in her local Lutheran church. 


Mikayel Tovmasyan is a lecturer in Economics and Mathematics at American University of Armenia (affiliated with University of California). Prior to joining AUA College of Business and Economics, Mikayel headed the Economic Impact Assessment team at National Centre for Legislative Regulation at Government Staff of Republic of Armenia for two years – a rapid regulatory reform project joint with all major international organizations present in Armenia. Prior to that, he worked over 6 years in US tax accounting & tax advising (as an IRS Enrolled Agent). Mikayel received his postgraduate degree in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In June 2015, Mikayel won the annual AUA Teaching Excellence Award for his methodical application of the concept of grace in teaching.

Please note: the team members listed above are presenting here in a private capacity. 

IFES GraduateImpact Team Members: 

Tim is the IFES Associate Regional Secretary for Europe and Eurasia responsible for IFES GRADUATEiMPACT, helping young Christian adults as they begin working life. He has worked for IFES since 2003 before which he worked for the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and for 9 years in the business world. Tim has an MA in Christian Ethics and loves to teach on Theology of Work, Worldview, Identity, 1 Peter and the Gospel of John. As part of his work he runs Bible and Culture and Cross-Current. He is married to Jo and has three lovely children and he lives in the UK.

Jo is the driving force behind our organisation, responsible for the logistics of the conference. Jo works with Tim to develop this pan-regional ministry to support the emerging generation of young Christian adults as they begin their professions. She graduated from Durham in 2012 with a BA in Anthropology and is passionate about understanding how we can see the Lordship of Jesus over this academic field that Christians seem to flee from. Jo is married to Josh who is carrying out PhD studies, and they live in the UK, where together they are involved in ministry to international and postgraduate students. 

Rodica has been involved with ministry to graduates for a number of years. For five years she served as the General Secretary for CSC (the Moldovan IFES movement) during which time she pioneered ministry to CSC alumni. Rodica’s professional background is in Economics, having studied Economics & Sociology at the Academy of Economic Studies in Chisinau. She worked for the Moldovan Ministry of Culture for 11 years, first in the Economic Department and subsequently in the Department of International Cultural Affairs. Rodica will be heading up the pastoral aspects of the conference, helping delegates to reflect on what they are learning, and will also be sharing the organisation of logistics.

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