Alden Lai, PhD, MPH, is an award-winning health care management researcher at the NYU School of Global Public Health. He studies how the jobs of health care workers, particularly “low-wage workers” whose occupational needs have historically been neglected, can be improved to increase employee outcomes (e.g., employee wellbeing) and organizational performance (e.g., patient safety). Dr. Lai’s research has appeared in both health care and management journals, including Academy of Management Discoveries, Health Care Management Review, Medical Care Research and Review, and The Milbank Quarterly. He has received federal and foundation grants for his research, some of which have been cited by the National Academy of Medicine, the nation’s highest advisory body in the fields of health and medicine. Some of the awards that Dr. Lai’s research has won include: the Denny Gioia Award for Best Qualitative Paper, and Outstanding Paper based on a Dissertation Award from the Academy of Management.
Dr. Lai additionally serves as Executive Advisor to the Wellbeing for Planet Earth Foundation. In 2019, he created a philanthropic-private partnership with Gallup to make existing concepts and measures of wellbeing more globally inclusive. This work has resulted in the discovery of “harmonic principles of wellbeing,” which reflect a new way of thinking in the science and policy of wellbeing. For example, their global survey findings on the importance of considering balance in one’s wellbeing has been published in the influential World Happiness Report, as well as directly shaped policy discussions at the G7, G20, and Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). He has addressed several organizations around the world (e.g., Greek Ministry of Health, Consumer Goods Forum, Center for Transformative Technology) on this topic.
Dr. Lai has consulted for health systems, governments, and philanthropies both in the US and internationally. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Medical Care Research and Review. He also co-edited a book published by Springer Nature on professional development for early career researchers in the social sciences. Dr. Lai received his BA in Psychology from the National University of Singapore, Master of Public Health from the University of Tokyo as a Monbukagakusho Scholar, and PhD in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins University as a Sir Arthur Newsholme Scholar.