Vidhya Alakeson spends most of her working week as the director of research and strategy at the Resolution Foundation where she works on improving the lives of low-to-middle earners in Britain.
She spends one day a week as a consultant working on a range of policy and implementation projects related to personalisation in public services, particularly the development of personal health budgets, and writes regularly on the subject.
Vidhya has a particular passion for mental health, having spent three and a half years working for the US government in Washington on mental health and substance use, including travelling the country to look at America’s most innovative approaches to personalisation in mental health. She has just started an MSc in Psychology to deepen her understanding of why the current system of services and supports for people with mental health problems rarely works well.
Prior to moving to the US, Vidhya worked for the UK government, focusing on policy for children and young people, following several years working in think tanks. Her main lesson from her time in government was that individuals were more capable and creative than government tended to assume and that policy would do better if it started by asking individuals how their lives could be better - hence, her interest these days in personalisation, personal budgets and individual control.
Vidhya was educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics and was a 2006/7 Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy. She grew up and continues to live in London.