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Professor David Halpern CBE

President & Founding Director

David Halpern CBE is President and Founding Director of the Behavioural Insights Team having previously been the team’s CEO when it launched in 2010 until 2023 when he took up his current role.

Prior to BIT, David was the first Research Director of the Institute for Government and between 2001 and 2007 was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. David was also appointed as the What Works National Advisor in July 2013, a position he held until 2022 through which he led efforts to improve the use of evidence across the UK government.

Before entering government, David held tenure at Cambridge and posts at Oxford and Harvard. He has written several books and papers on areas relating to behavioural insights and well-being, including Social Capital (2005), the Hidden Wealth of Nations (2010), Online Harms and Manipulation (2019) and co-author of the MINDSPACE report. In 2015, David wrote a book about the team entitled Inside the Nudge Unit: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference.

David was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours in January 2023 for Public Service in his role as What Works National Adviser.