Dr Anna Dixon recognised in New Year’s Honours List 2021
Our Chief Executive, Anna Dixon, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2021 for services to wellbeing in later life.
Since 2015, Anna has led Ageing Better's work to create a society where we can all look forward to a good later life, regardless of our background or circumstances.
For the last five years, Anna has been a leading light on the issue of ageing and demographic change, championing the change needed to create a society where we can all live healthier, fuller, more active and connected lives.
She led Ageing Better’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing expert advice and evidence to government and others to support responsive policy making, with a key focus on the growing number of older workers at risk of falling out of work prematurely before they can afford to retire.
Anna has made a significant contribution to the government’s strategic focus on ageing in particular through support for the Industrial Strategy Ageing Grand Challenge. Her influence helped secure a government commitment to the mission of ensuring ‘people can enjoy five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, whilst narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest’. As part of this she championed the idea of stimulating economic growth by developing markets for products and services that enable people to remain healthy, active and independent for longer, and helped to shape the Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund.
Under her leadership at Ageing Better, the World Health Organisation’s Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities has expanded in the UK, with more than 40 cities, towns, districts and counties now having made a strategic commitment to supporting their residents to live healthy and active lives.
Last year she published her book ‘The Age of Ageing Better? A Manifesto For Our Future’, aimed at helping policy makers and practitioners to make the radical changes needed to ensure that no one misses out on a good later life.
Throughout her career she has been committed to putting people at the heart of policy making and ensuring evidence and research are translated into practical action. Anna was formerly Director of Strategy and Chief Analyst at the Department of Health and held positions at The King’s Fund, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. She also holds several non-executive and community roles, including Co-Chairing HelpForce, formed with Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett in 2017. She is a member of the Advisory Panel for the Independent Review of Adult Social Care in Scotland and a founding Board member of Business for Health, a business-led coalition to increase healthy life expectancy. She volunteers at North London Cares and until recently was churchwarden at Christ Church Highbury.
Responding to the honour, Dr Anna Dixon said:
“I am delighted and incredibly proud to receive this award. The UK’s population is undergoing a massive age shift, which has implications for every aspect of our lives and requires us all to think and act differently. This has been my driving passion for many years now and is an issue made more urgent by COVID-19, which looks set to increase the gap between those who can expect to enjoy later life and those who will struggle through it.
“In the coming years I look forward to continuing to work with colleagues at the Centre for Ageing Better, in local and national government, and across the public and private sectors to bring about the changes needed to ensure that we can all live healthier, fuller and more connected later lives.”