He was the founding Director of the Institute for Government, and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Ministers Strategy Unit. Before entering government, Dr Halpern held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard.
He co-authored the MINDSPACE report and has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and wellbeing, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), and most recently a book about the team entitled Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.
The What Works idea is simple: driving better spending by putting clear evidence into the hands of public service professionals and commissioners. The What Works National Adviser is a one day a week Minister of the Cabinet Office appointment to provide advice to ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and other leaders in government on what evidence shows to be both effective and cost-effective in delivering policy outcomes.