Our People

We have a London-based office with colleagues all over the country, including Darlington, Cheshire, East Sussex and Wiltshire. We work with researchers in universities and organisations across the UK and Europe in an ESRC-funded research programme.

We’re a collaborative Centre, so please feel free to contact us.

Meet our teams

Nancy Hey

Executive Director

Nancy Hey

Executive Director

Nancy Hey is a global leader in the field of wellbeing. Prior to setting up the Centre, she worked in the UK Civil Service in nine departments as a policy professional and coach, delivering cross UK Government policies including on constitutional reform. 

She has worked with the UK’s top civil servants to introduce wellbeing into public policy and to establish the professional policy community in the UK. She has degrees in law and in coaching and development, specialising in emotions, and is a passionate advocate for learning systems. 

@Work_Life_You

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Marta Moratti

Head of evidence and analysis (maternity cover)

Marta Moratti

Head of evidence and analysis (maternity cover)

Marta is an evidence and evaluation expert, with a passion for using data to inform policy. With a background in development economics and more than 10 years’ experience in designing, managing, implementing and communicating evidence and evaluation projects.

Interested in wellbeing, poverty, disadvantage and how evidence can inform policy, in UK and in international development.

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Joanne Smithson

Local government and health sector lead

Joanne Smithson

Local government and health sector lead

Joanne works to understand what local government, health organisations, communities, and individuals can do to increase wellbeing and effectively translate this into practice. She is an experienced policy professional and has led service improvement activity across local government; the voluntary and community sector; housing associations; and secondary care. She is studying part-time for a Masters in Public Health, and is passionate about Parkrun.

Patricia Curmi

Head of communications

Patricia Curmi

Head of communications

Patricia specialises in research and policy change communications, with a focus on human rights and social justice. Her background is in development; humanitarian aid; and children and young people.

She developed a participatory communications technique to better involve service users in charity campaigns, and ran a social enterprise for several years to support charities.

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Ingrid Abreu Scherer

Civil Society Lead

Ingrid Abreu Scherer

Civil Society Lead

Ingrid works with charities, social enterprises and those who support them to develop effective programmes and build the evidence on what really works.

 Ingrid is co-founder and chair of trustees of The Mill, an asset-based community development project in East London. She has advised other charity boards, local authorities and social enterprises on asset-based approaches to community development.

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Eileen Donnelly

Business sector lead

Eileen Donnelly

Business sector lead

As a senior leader with experience at Director level within FTSE 250 businesses, Eileen has supported companies to build purpose-driven business strategies and workplace cultures. She believes that it is a company’s investment in its human capital that ensures an effective bridge between strategy development and strategy implementation.

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Magdalena Soffia

Work and wellbeing analyst

Magdalena Soffia

Work and wellbeing analyst

Magdalena is a Doctor in Sociology with experience on quantitative measures of job quality and wellbeing in European and Latin American settings. Before joining the Centre, she worked as a research associate for the University of Cambridge and Police Care UK. Magdalena was a consultant at the Population Division of ECLAC-United Nations for four years.

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Margherita Musella

Evaluation Lead

Margherita Musella

Evaluation Lead

Margherita Musella advises charities and funders on how to conduct and strengthen their wellbeing evaluations by advising on appropriate methods, measures and approaches and promotes the use of evaluation data from UK projects and pilots to learn about “what works” to improve Wellbeing.

She also works as an Evaluation Consultant using social return on investment and social impact measurement to evaluate work-based learning programmes and international development advocacy interventions and has helped to set up an evaluation competence centre to strengthen the evaluation support available to third sector organisations in Italy.

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Jamila Boughelaf

Head of Programme, Governance and Operations

Jamila Boughelaf

Head of Programme, Governance and Operations

Jamila is an accomplished senior manager with significant experience managing international programmes, policy research and campaigns in the areas of prevention, education, health and human rights. 

Passionate about demonstrating the potential of knowledge mobilisation and evidence-informed policy in lowering social inequalities, she has led internationally recognised programmes in the field of substance use prevention.  Jamila is also an independent consultant in the fields of Health, Education & Prevention, with focus on evidence-informed capacity building,  impact & evaluation, and policy research.

Stefanie Barczy

Programme, Governance and Operations Administrator

Stefanie Barczy

Programme, Governance and Operations Administrator

Nicola Robbins

Media and communications officer

Nicola Robbins

Media and communications officer

Nicola specialises in strategic communications, social media and copywriting and has worked for more than 15 years in the communications and PR industry including for the Home Office. She is passionate about helping people and organisations communicate effectively in order to make a difference. She also spent six years as a Chair of Governors and is now a trustee for her local homeless charity Helping Herts Homeless.

Deborah Hardoon

Head of Evidence and Analysis

Deborah Hardoon

Head of Evidence and Analysis

Prior to joining the Centre, Deborah was Deputy Head of Research at Oxfam GB, and Research Manager at Transparency International, responsible for the global corruption measurement tools, including the Corruption Perceptions Index.

She was an ODI fellow in Lesotho between 2009 and 2011 and before that worked for three years as a commercial analyst at BP. Deborah holds a BA in Economics and Business management from Newcastle University and an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

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Michael Kyriakides

Head of Finance

Michael Kyriakides

Head of Finance

Gus O’Donnell

Patron

Gus O’Donnell

Patron

Our patron is Gus O’Donnell is a former British senior civil servant and economist, who between 2005 and 2011 (under three Prime Ministers) served as the Cabinet Secretary, the highest official in the British Civil Service. Gus chaired the development group of founding partners setting up the Centre and the Commission on Wellbeing & Policy. He joined Frontier Economics as Senior Advisor in 2012 and became Chairman in 2013.

Paul Litchfield

Chair of the Board

Paul Litchfield

Chair of the Board

Former Chief Medical Officer for BT Group plc.

Paul’s main professional interest for the past thirty years has been occupational mental health and wellbeing.

He has been involved in initiatives nationally (UK) and internationally to improve wellbeing in the workplace, to intervene early to mitigate harm and to ensure rehabilitation back into work after mental illness is effective.

Within BT he created a framework for health, safety and wellbeing that drove very significant improvements to the benefit of both the workforce and the business.

Since 2015 Paul has been the part-time Chair of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing which seeks to pull together the scientific evidence relating to wellbeing and turn it into a meaningful format for decision makers in Government, business and civil society.

Over the years he has published and lectured widely not only on mental health and wellbeing issues but also on sickness absence, hazard control and ethics in occupational health. A number of organisations have recognised his work – most notably the UK Government who awarded him the OBE in 2007 for his work in occupational health and in 2018 the CBE for his contribution to wellbeing.

Helen Baker

Vice Chair of the Board

Helen Baker

Vice Chair of the Board

Chair, Shelter England

Helen took over the role of chair of Shelter in May 2018, bringing her wide experience of governance and leadership. Most recently, Helen’s been involved with chairing Charityworks, and is a deputy lieutenant for Oxfordshire.

Professor Paul Allin

Chair of the Advisory Panel

Professor Paul Allin

Chair of the Advisory Panel

Visiting Professor in Statistics, Imperial College, Formerly Director of the Measuring National Wellbeing Programme at the Office for National Statistics

Paul retired in 2012 from the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) after a career as a professional statistician and researcher in a wide range of government economic and social policy departments, including those dealing with the labour market, health and safety, equal opportunities, the national economic accounts, and culture, media and sport.

He also managed several programmes and projects concerned with developments to statistical systems, including options for a population register and alternatives to a mid-decade census.

His final post was as director of the measuring national wellbeing programme in the ONS.

Paul has a BSc Hons in Mathematics and an MSc in Statistics from the University of Manchester and has been a Chartered Statistician since 1993.

Jenny Edwards

Advisory Panel

Jenny Edwards

Advisory Panel

Jenny is former Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and has worked at Homelessness Link, Arts Council England, National Campaign for the Arts and Camden Council.

 

Deirdre McAliskey

Advisory Panel

Deirdre McAliskey

Advisory Panel

Assistant Director, Northern Ireland, National Children’s Bureau

As Assistant Director, Deirdre contributes to the management and strategic direction of NCB’s practice development work in Northern Ireland. She also manages NCB’s work on participation and engagement.

Prior to this role, Deidre was Programme Manager for BELONG NI – an inter-agency family support programme that promotes a sense of Belonging amongst Black Minority Ethnic (BME) children and young people in Northern Ireland. She’s also worked for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International.

Most recently at NCB, Deidre has lead on the transfer of knowledge and practice from the BELONG NI family support programme to its statutory partners in health and education. She also established the Incredible Years Co-ordination Project for Northern Ireland (IYNI) and facilitates the IYNI learning community for practitioners, managers and commissioners.

Deirdre represents Northern Ireland on the European Incredible Years Implementation Network.

Before moving into the children’s sector, Deidre worked in TV and theatre, both as an actor and writer of children’s programmes and plays.

Dr Louise Smith

Advisory Panel

Dr Louise Smith

Advisory Panel

Director of Public Health, Norfolk County Council

Professor Paul Montgomery

Advisory Panel

Professor Paul Montgomery

Advisory Panel

Professor of Social intervention, University of Birmingham

Paul arrived at Birmingham University in 2017 to take up his current post after twenty years at Oxford University where he was Professor of Psycho-social Intervention. His work is methodologically based in three main areas: Systematic Reviews, Trials (many of them RCTs) and Methods Advances in Complex Interventions. Topically, his work is wide ranging and includes Sleep where he originally did his doctorate, Education Interventions for Children, Empowerment Interventions for Women in LMICs, as well as broader policy advice for policymakers.

Dr Ruth Garside

Advisory Panel

Dr Ruth Garside

Advisory Panel

Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis, University of Exeter

Prof Ruth Garside is a social science researcher specialising in systematic review and evidence synthesis.

She has over 20 years’ experience using quantitative and qualitative research methods to investigate a range of health and social care questions. Her work has informed policy customers including WHO, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Home Office.

Prof Garside is particularly interested in using a broad range of evidence to investigate complex public health issues and has a particular interest in methods of synthesis for qualitative research.  She coordinates evidence synthesis across the streams of ECEHH research and develops these methods within environment and human health.

Systematic reviews exploring interconnections between the environment and health include:

Working with a range of international colleagues, Ruth is part of an evidence-based conservation working group . This project examined the links between conservation activities and human health. It has produced a searchable evidence map of the current evidence base documenting linkages between nature conservation and human health outcomes, more detail is available here.

She is also committed to public and patient involvement in research and founder of HEPE, a network of people from across Cornwall who contribute to research  projects at the Centre.

Professor Angie Hart

Advisory Panel

Professor Angie Hart

Advisory Panel

Professor of Child, Family and Community Health, University of Brighton and Director of BoingBoing

Professor Angie Hart is Professor of Child, Family and Community Health at the University of Brighton and Director of the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice.

She is also Academic Director of the award winning Community University Partnership Programme. As part of that role, she was the Brighton lead for the HEFCE-funded South East Coastal Communities Programme. She undertakes participatory research into inequalities in health and social care in relation to children and families, especially in relation to resilience. Angie teaches on professional courses for health and social care practitioners and coordinates a large group of PhD students working on resilience and inequalities. She currently has a number of resilience-focused research projects under way, many of which are funded under the AHRC/ESRC’s Connected Communities Programme.

Read Professor Hart’s full bio on the University of Brighton website.

Dr Jane Moore

Advisory Panel

Dr Jane Moore

Advisory Panel

Executive Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance at Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Jane Moore joined Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs as the Director of Strategy, Planning and Performance in October 2018. Jane has worked in the NHS and local government for over 25 years, mainly in the public health arena and is a Public Health Consultant by background.

Jane has held senior positions in Wales, London and the Midlands. She has extensive experience in system transformation and led a maternity reconfiguration during her time as a Director of Public Health and Quality in London.

Jennifer Wallace

Advisory Panel

Jennifer Wallace

Advisory Panel

Head of Policy, Carnegie UK Trust

Jennifer leads the Wellbeing and Towns team at Carnegie UK Trust. An experienced manager and public policy researcher and analyst, her work in the public and voluntary sector has led to positive change in legislation, policy and practice. A prolific writer she has authored more than 40 reports and 3 books and is a recognised expert on wellbeing, public sector reform and community empowerment.

She holds the degrees of MA (Hons) in Social Policy from the University of Edinburgh and MPhil in Social Science Research from the University of Glasgow. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the REF 2021 Main Panel for the Social Sciences, a board member at Barony Housing Association and past Convenor of Evaluation Support Scotland.

Louise Aston

Advisory Panel

Louise Aston

Advisory Panel

Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community

In the context of responsible business, the aim of BITC’s Wellbeing Campaign is to create environments where individuals and organisations can be at their best by taking a preventative, whole person, joined up approach to physical, mental, financial and social health.

BITC’s annual survey in partnership with Mercer Marsh captures the state of the nation’s mental health at work and provides employer recommendations to improve line manager capability through the intersectional lenses of age, gender, race and LGBT+.

In partnership with PHE, BITC has co-produced a suite of freely available interconnected toolkits, consolidating the best evidence, resources and employer practice, including the challenging topics of suicide and domestic abuse.

Dr Peter Doran

Advisory Panel

Dr Peter Doran

Advisory Panel

Lecturer in Law at Queens University Belfast

Dr Doran has worked as a consultant writer with the UN Climate Change Convention, going back to the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol, and has written on the topics of climate change; mindfulness; environmental governance and activism on the island of Ireland; rights of nature, including a recent book on the ‘mindful commons and the attention economy’. He has worked in NGOs and in parliamentary settings on both sides of the border, and at the United Nations.

Professor Carol Graham

Advisory Panel

Professor Carol Graham

Advisory Panel

Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Carol Graham is Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, College Park Professor at the University of Maryland, and a Senior Scientist at Gallup. She has been a Vice President at Brookings and a Special Advisor to the Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Graham is the author of numerous books– most recently Happiness for All: Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream (Princeton); The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-Being (Brookings); and Happiness Around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (Oxford) – and has published articles in a range of journals including Science, the World Bank Research Observer, Health Affairs, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Health Economics, and the Journal of Socio-Economics.

Her work has been reviewed in Science, The New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books, among others, and she received a Pioneer Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2017, and a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar award the International Society of Quality of Life Studies in 2018.

She has an A.B. from Princeton, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins and a PhD from Oxford University.

Professor Andrew Oswald

Advisory Panel

Professor Andrew Oswald

Advisory Panel

Andrew Oswald is a Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Warwick.

His research is principally in applied economics and quantitative social science. It currently includes the empirical study of job satisfaction, human happiness, unemployment, labour productivity, and the influence of diet on psychological well-being.

He serves on the board of editors of Science. Previously at Oxford and the London School of Economics, with spells as Lecturer, Princeton University (1983-4); De Walt Ankeny Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College (1989-91); Jacob Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University (2005); Visiting Fellow, Cornell University (2008); Research Director, IZA Bonn (2011-12); Visiting Fellow, University of Zurich (2016); Visiting Fellow, Yale University (2016). He is an ISI Highly-Cited Researcher.

Visit his website for his latest publications.

Sally McManus

Advisory Panel

Sally McManus

Advisory Panel

Research Associate, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

Sally McManus has worked in the Health team at NatCen Social Research since 1999. She is interested in the measurement of mental health and wellbeing.

Her current projects include using survey data for secondary analysis and the monitoring of inequalities.

She runs the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey and a Department of Health Policy Research Programme funded study into trends in self-harm and suicidal behaviour.

Fiona Adshead

Advisory Panel

Fiona Adshead

Advisory Panel

Deputy CEO at NCD alliance.

Fiona is an independent expert advisor on wellbeing, sustainability and public health. Formerly she was Bupa’s Chief Wellbeing and Public Health Officer, responsible for leading global commercial strategy on workplace health and wellbeing, prevention, behaviour change, partnerships, and sustainability.

Before joining Bupa, Fiona was Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Director General in the UK Government responsible for Health Improvement and Health Inequalities followed by being Director of Chronic Disease and Health Promotion at the World Health Organisation.

She is a visiting Professor at UCL, and a Senior Associate at Cambridge University’s Sustainability Leadership Programme, where she teaches regularly, and Chairs the UK Health Forum.

Deborah Potts

Board

Deborah Potts

Board

Chief Executive Officer at Active Gloucestershire

 

Paul Najsarek

Board

Paul Najsarek

Board

Chief Executive Ealing Council

Paul is the lead chief executive in West London for growth and at Ealing Council and he is leading the Future Ealing transformation programme. His experience of partnership working includes leading for SOLACE on community wellbeing, adult services for London Councils and Thrive LDN, London’s initiative to promote mental health wellbeing.

 

Sarah Blunn

Board

Sarah Blunn

Board

Partner, Commercial Property, Wedlake Bell

Sarah is a commercial real estate lawyer with a wide range of experience from many different types of commercial property transaction. She acts for both landlords and tenants, investors and developers and handles all aspects of commercial property work, including disposals and acquisitions, leases, property finance, property development and property management. Sarah also deals with the property aspects of corporate transactions.

Sarah considers herself a generalist, but has particular expertise advising corporate occupiers on HQ and regional office moves, property development and investment, portfolio management and clients in the Charities, Retail, Student Accommodation and Hotel sectors.

Dr Camilla Rosan

Board member

Dr Camilla Rosan

Board member

Camilla works at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families as Head of Early Years. Camilla is a consultant clinical psychologist and couple therapist by background and across her clinical career has held a range of therapeutic roles related to the early years in the NHS, local authority and other third sector organisations. She has a specialist research interest in developing the field of co-parenting from pre-conception across the transition to parenthood and beyond, and is involved in several research projects to develop the evidence-base in this area.

Dr Anuschka Muller

Board member

Dr Anuschka Muller

Board member

Dr Anuschka Muller

Director Strategic Planning and Performance, Government of Jersey (Channel Islands)

Anuschka currently works for the Government of Jersey and leads on strategic planning, performance management and data analytics. She has been a driver in implementing a comprehensive performance framework that reflects sustainable wellbeing at country level and aligns closely with the OECD Better Life Index and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Anuschka has over 15 years’ experience in data analytics, insight development and intelligent use of data in strategic planning, policy making and commissioning in the public sector. Anuschka is passionate about continuously improving public sector services to achieve a wider spectrum of well-being outcomes for people.

Prior to her current role, Anuschka held an executive director role with a large NHS community health service provider and worked as a senior leader for Local Government in the UK where she implemented a commercial data story telling approach to drive outcome focused decision-making. She previously held a range of academic research positions in Germany.

Anuschka has a PhD in Biology, a MSc in Biology, a MSc in Forestry and more recently received a postgraduate diploma in Digital Health Leadership from Imperial College.

Dan Corry

Board

Dan Corry

Board

CEO of New Philanthropy Capital

Dan became Chief Executive of NPC in 2011 following a variety of posts in public policy and economics. NPC is a charity that operates as a think tank and consultancy aiming to improve the impact of the social sector. He was Head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Economy from 2007 to 2010.

Dan has been Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Treasury and has worked as a special adviser to the Secretary of State in the Education Department as well as at DTI and DCLG. He was a Director in the Economics segment of FTI Consulting. He ran the New Local Government Network think tank between 2002 and 2005, which was voted Think Tank of the Year in 2004 and was Senior Economist at the IPPR in the 1990s.

He is a trustee of St Mungo’s, 19 Princelet Street and of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and a former member of the Research Committee of the ESRC and of the Greater Manchester Economic Advisory Panel. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards for Big Society CapitalImpetus–PEF, and the Centre for Public Scrutiny, and was a member of the Charity Tax Commission.

Prof Rhiannon Corcoran

Professor of Psychology and Public Mental Health

Prof Rhiannon Corcoran

Professor of Psychology and Public Mental Health

Rhiannon joined the University of Liverpool, Institute of Psychology Health and Society from the Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham in September 2012. I have held previous academic appointments in the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester and Dept. of Psychology, UCL.

Professor Diane Coyle

Co-director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Professor Diane Coyle

Co-director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Diane was previously Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester. She has held a number of public service roles including Vice Chair of the BBC Trust (2006-2014), member of the Competition Commission (2001-2009), the Migration Advisory Committee (2009-2014), and the Natural Capital Committee (2016-2019). She was awarded a CBE for her contribution to the public understanding of economics in the 2018 New Year Honours.

Dr Praveetha Patalay

Associate Professor at the Institute of Education and Faculty of Population Health Sciences at UCL

Dr Praveetha Patalay

Associate Professor at the Institute of Education and Faculty of Population Health Sciences at UCL

Dr Praveetha Patalay is an Associate Professor based across the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the IOE and at the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences, UCL.

Her research focuses on the development, risk/protective factors and the consequences of mental ill-health and the ways in which we can reduce the stigma around mental illness and promote well-being. She uses large national studies, including the British birth cohorts, to investigate mental health through the life course and works on evaluations of school-based intervention programmes to support and promote young people’s mental health.

Her recent research has highlighted the increasing levels of mental health difficulties faced by the current generation of young people in the UK.

She has received much recognition for her research, including the British Psychological Society’s Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology and was on Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for Science and Healthcare.

Dr Daisy Fancourt

Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL

Dr Daisy Fancourt

Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL

Daisy studied at Oxford University and King’s College London before completing her PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at UCL. She subsequently undertook postdoctoral work in the Centre for Performance Science (a partnership of the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music) before returning to UCL in 2017. Her research focuses on the effects of social and community participation on health, with a particular interest in the effects of arts and cultural engagement.

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Dr Emily Long

MRC Skills Development Fellow, Institute of Health & Wellbeing Social Sciences, at Glasgow University

Dr Emily Long

MRC Skills Development Fellow, Institute of Health & Wellbeing Social Sciences, at Glasgow University

Kevin Daniels

Professor in Organizational Behaviour

Kevin Daniels

Professor in Organizational Behaviour

Kevin Daniels is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and led the Work, Learning and Wellbeing evidence programme for the Economic and Social Research Council funded What Works Wellbeing Centre, and a project on workplace wellbeing and productivity, also funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Kevin joined Norwich Business School in 2012 as Professor of Organizational Behaviour. He was a founding member and first head of the Employment Systems and Institutions group. Prior to joining UEA, Kevin was Professor of Organizational Psychology at Loughborough University (2003-2012), where he also served as Director of Research for Loughborough’s Business School (2004-2009). Kevin is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Chartered Psychologist and a Full Member of the Division of Occupational Psychology of the British Psychological Society.