Dr. Stephen Brien

Senior Advisor to the Minister for Economy and Planning, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Stephen is a Senior Advisor to HE Eng Adel Fakeih, Minister for Economy and Planning, KSA, focussing on economic diversification and social protection.

From 2014-5, he has been a Director at Social Finance, where he focused on supporting performance improvement within government and social enterprises. He now has an active advisory role supporting the development of Social Finance Digital Labs. He was also a member of the Chair’s Executive team for the Social Impact Investment Taskforce, established by the G8 countries in 2013.

He is a board member, and chairman of the Fellows of the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a leading UK think-tank. From 2006-9, he led its policy development in the areas of Welfare to Work, Benefits Reform and Social Return on Investment, and authored each of its reports in these areas: (‘Breakthrough Britain’ 2007, ‘Dynamic Benefits’ 2009, which set out the blueprint for Universal Credit, and ‘Outcome Based Government’ 2011, which focussed on the need for governments to shift to a clearer definition of outcomes and the social value placed on them.

Stephen advised the UK Department for Work and Pensions from 2010 to 2013, including a term as an Expert Adviser for Welfare Reform to the Secretary of State.  His focus was on developing the policy and design of Universal Credit. He also engaged on the Government’s broader welfare reform agenda including the Social Justice Strategy, and employment and disability reforms.

Prior to joining DWP, Stephen spent 15 years at Oliver Wyman, where he was a Partner, and served a term as the head of its London Office. At Oliver Wyman he served government and global corporate clients primarily in the mass-consumer sector, where his focus was on performance improvement.

Stephen holds a BSc from University College Dublin, and an MSc, MA and DPhil from Oxford University.