Karen has worked in academia, government, and the private and charity sectors. She left her role as Chief Economist at the Department of Education in 2013 to establish an economics consultancy business, and, since 2016, embark on an economics PhD on the behavioural economics of exercise and older people. Most of her experience is in the economics of housing, health and education, in England and Scotland, but she had a brief excursion into space economics in 2014. Karen is experienced in providing economic advice to Ministers in relation to Spending Reviews; in commissioning research and evaluation; and in broader economic analysis. Between 2013 and 2016, she was leading teams of volunteer economists on economic and social impact projects for a wide range of charities.
Since 2013, Karen’s consultancy company has undertaken projects for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills; DEFRA; Inspiring Scotland; the UK Space Agency; NHS Improvement; Scope; Circle; Shelter Scotland; and The Nuffield Foundation. She is currently on Steering Groups for two major research projects – one for the Nuffield Foundation, and one funded by ESRC and the Wellcome Trust. She is also a long-standing Assessor for the Government Economic Service Fast Stream recruitment process. Karen lives in London, and spends her leisure time engaged in sport, exercise and physical activity, coaching runners, and learning to play the guitar.
I encountered the Alliance for Useful Evidence during my time as Chief Economist at DfE, and while working in the charity sector. I wanted to become an Associate because I share A4UE’s passion for better use of evidence in decision-making in the public and third sectors. My motivation is to help decision-makers obtain maximum economic and social benefit per £ of public or donated money.