Employed by Environmental Resources Management in London and the Department for International Development in India and on contracts for the World Bank and the UN, she has brought managerial rigour and professional expertise by using economic appraisal methodologies, surveys and participatory techniques to evaluate the financial, environmental and social aspects of economic development.
Alison was an expert on the UNESCO International Hydrological panel and is currently a Senior Advisor to Newton Europe, an award-winning operational improvement consultancy employing over 200 consultants with a turnover of over £50million. She founded and is CEO of Africa Water Enterprises, an innovative charity employing women entrepreneurs to run small-scale private water services in rural West Africa.
Alison took a lead role in the campaign to save the iconic Wedgwood Collection from possible forced sale. She worked as a key advocate, uniting a group of stakeholders including the arts minister Ed Vaizey, Arts Council England, local MPs, the Art Fund and HLF, and served as the key media spokesperson for the Wedgwood family.
Back home in Staffordshire, Alison served as a local councillor for four years, and was Chair of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee, also Vice-Chair of Children and Young People, and sat on the Audit Committee, Economic Regeneration and Culture Committee and the Treasury Management Board. As a councillor in Stoke-on-Trent she understands in very stark terms both the economic and cultural deprivation which too many parts of society suffer from. To tackle this disadvantage, Alison serves as a board member of the Bentilee Community Partnership – a partnership she set up to connect local policing and the Safer City Partnership teams with youth services, social services, education providers and third sector activity/sports clubs in the most deprived wards of Stoke.
Her knowledge of the broader picture in the West Midlands is supported by her work as school governor for a school in a deprived ward with 75% of pupils receiving free school meals.
She is a keen mountaineer, and led the second British ascent of Matho Kangri in Ladakh and third world ascent of Kanjiroba Himal in Western Nepal - although now the mountains tend to be much smaller.