Alexandra Williamson


Alexandra is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) in the QUT Business School at Queensland University of Technology. She holds a PhD and a Master of Business (Research) from QUT examining the accountability of philanthropic foundations, and a Master of Business (Philanthropy and Social Investment) from Swinburne University of Technology. Her research is focused on philanthropic foundations, accountability and place-based giving. Prior to commencing in academia in 2011, she had 14 years involvement in philanthropic foundations and grantmaking, in roles which involved researching and implementing grantmaking strategies.


My full list of publications can be found here

  • Williamson, Alexandra, Luke, Belinda G., & Furneaux, Craig W. (2020) Ties that bind: Public foundations in dyadic partnerships. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, doi: 10.1007/s11266-020-00269-8
  • Williamson, Alexandra (2020) Agenda-setting and public policy in private foundations. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 11(1), doi: 10.1515/npf-2019-0049
  • Williamson, Alexandra, Luke, Belinda G. (2019) Publicness and the identity of public foundations. The Foundation Review, 11(2), doi: 10.9707/1944-5660.1482
  • McGregor-Lowndes, M., & Williamson, A. (2018). Foundations in Australia: Dimensions for International Comparison. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(13), 1759–1776. doi: 10.1177/0002764218773495
  • Leat, D., Williamson, A., & Scaife, W. (2018). Grantmaking in a Disorderly World: The Limits of Rationalism. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77(1), 128-135. doi: 10.1111/1467-8500.12249
  • Williamson, A., Luke, B., Leat, D., & Furneaux, C. (2017). Founders, Families, and Futures: Perspectives on the Accountability of Australian Private Ancillary Funds. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 46(4), 747-771. doi: 10.1177/0899764017703711
  • Williamson, A., Luke, B., & Furneaux, C. (2017). Why Be Accountable? Exploring Voluntary Accountability of Australian Private Ancillary Funds. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77(3), 375-391. doi: 10.1111/1467-8500.12255
  • Williamson, A., Leat, D., & Scaife, W. (2017). Narratives of performance measurement in philanthropic foundations. Voluntary Sector Review, 8(3), 273-298. doi: 10.1332/204080517X695931
  • Scaife, Wendy A., McDonald, Katie, Williamson, Alexandra, & Mossel, Valerie (2015) Giving in Australia: Philanthropic Potential Beginning To Be Realized. In Wiepking, P., et al. (Eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy. Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137341532_28
  • Williamson, Alexandra, Luke, Belinda G., & Furneaux, Craig W. (2019) Accountability of philanthropic foundations: interviewing private and powerful givers about their responsibilities. SAGE Research Methods Papers in Business and Management. doi: 10.4135/978152646662

Awards and distinctions

Executive Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for 2019

Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) Ph.D. Scholarship, QUT, 2016 – 2019

QUT School of Accountancy Scholarship, Masters by Research, 2014 – 2015

Professor John O. Miller AO Award for Academic Excellence in the Master of Social Science (Philanthropy & Social Investment), Swinburne University of Technology, 2010


My husband is a primary school science teacher, and I have two young adult sons. When not working, I enjoy my Bookclub of ten years standing with good friends, baking and trying new recipes, and walking our dog, Alby (a fox terrier).