Dr Shana Cohen
Dr Shana Cohen is the Director of TASC.
She studied at Princeton University and at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a PhD in Sociology. Her PhD analyzed the political and social consequences of market reform policies in Morocco for young, educated men and women. Since then, she has continued to conduct research on how economic policies have influenced political and social identity, particularly in relation to collective action and social activism.
She has taught at George Washington University, the University of Sheffield, and most recently, University of Cambridge, where she is still an Affiliated Lecturer and Associate Researcher. Her areas of teaching have included global social policy, globalization, and human services.
Before coming to TASC, she was Deputy Director of the Woolf Institute in Cambridge. In her role at the Institute, she became engaged with interfaith and intercultural relations in Europe, India, and the Middle East.
Beyond academic research, Shana has extensive experience working with NGOs and community-based organizations in a number of countries, including Morocco, the US, the UK, and India. This work has involved project design, management, and evaluation as well as advocacy. She has consulted for the World Bank, the Grameen Bank Foundation, and other private foundations and trusts.
- Economy and society
- Social policy and inequality
- Enhancing civil society impact and capacity
- Evaluation and programme design
- International development
(2021) “The evolution of civil society in Morocco,” in Handbook on the Maghrib, edited by George Joffe, New York: Routledge.
(2021) “The local political and social consequences of austerity,” in Handbook on Austerity, Retrenchment and the Welfare State, edited by Bent Greve, London: Edward Elgar Publishing.
(2019) “Solidarity and Democracy: Lessons from Social Activism Under Austerity in the UK,” Journal of Anthropological Theory: Anthropological Theory Commons, December 9, 2019.
(2019) “Global Policy and Social Solidarity: Making the link for social change,” special issue of Global Social Policy in memoriam for Bob Deacon, Ed. Alexandra Kaasch.
Executive Manager, TASC Climate Justice Centre
Sean is developing a workstream on Just Transition. This work aims to identify and address knowledge and capacity deficits that must be overcome in order to include workers and their communities the design, planning and implementation of a fair transition to sustainable economies and societies. The findings will help to inform people-centred climate action and sustainable development in Ireland and Europe.
- Just Transition
- Sustainable development
- People-centred climate action
- Intergenerational equity
- Migration and integration
Sean holds an B.Sc in Applied Physics from Dublin City University and an M.Sc. in Development Practice awarded by Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Prior to joining TASC, Sean worked as a Policy Officer with the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice for five years. During this time he engaged with the negotiations leading to the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. He also led the Foundation’s work on intergenerational equity. Sean spent five years working in the private sector, as a catastrophe risk analyst with Renaissance Reinsurance. He also spent 2 years working in a hospice in Kolkata, India, and worked with the Environmental Protection Agency in Sierra Leone building the agencies capacity in Geographic Information Systems.
Dr Robert Sweeney
FEPS TASC Senior Economic and Policy Analyst
Robert Sweeney is the FEPS TASC Senior Economic and Policy Analyst. He is currently the lead researcher on a project examining economic inequality in Ireland and Europe. His work focuses on inequality in Ireland, and how Ireland compares to other European small, open economies.
- Economic inequality
- Low pay
Robert has a PhD in economics from University of Leeds in which he examined the growth of the financial sector in Europe. He also has degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. He has published and refereed in international journals in economics and political economy.
Dr Amie Lajoie
Senior Researcher and Head of TASC's Social Inclusion Research Stream
Amie leads TASC's "Social Inclusion" research stream and manages projects that investigate the ways public services and institutions in Ireland can better serve the needs of socially, economically, and culturally excluded persons and groups. For example, she has carried out participatory research with Irish Travellers, adults with unmet literacy needs, low-pay workers, lone parents, and rural communities. These projects are intersectional and span a range of socio-economic and cultural areas, including education, financial inclusion, physical and mental health, employment, housing and more.
- Social inclusion
- Financial resilience and household debt
- Human rights and gender equality
Amie joined TASC in January 2019 and has extensive research experience using both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. She completed her PhD in Political Science at NUI Galway and her doctoral research was fully funded and focused on women and human rights activism, building upon well-known feminist critiques of the international human rights project. She has an MA in Human Rights from the University of York (York, UK) and a BA in International Relations from the University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA USA). Amie has also completed legal and policy research on issues such as reproductive justice, child labour and child marriage, and the human right to housing.
Louisa MacKenzie joins us from the fundraising team at Dublin Simon Community. Louisa started her career in fashion and supply chain working with Primark and Mars Ireland but always had a passion for the non-profit sector. Having previously volunteered with Inner City Helping Homeless in Dublin and Barnardos while living in Manchester, Louisa saw the impact of global human inequality firsthand while travelling through Central and South America. The experience instilled an ambition to make the world a better place.
Through her work with Business in the Community to establish a national charity partner between Mars Ireland and the ISPCA as part of the company's Corporate Social Responsibility efforts, she realized she could turn her passion for helping others into a career.
During her time with the Simon Community, Louisa managed Dublin Simon’s food sponsorship programme Food for Simon, working closely with many key industry players to address food waste as part of their CSR strategies. Food insecurity as a topic has come to the fore in recent years and this is an area Louisa is particularly passionate about. Other roles with Simon involved partnerships with SSE Airtricity, Kepak and more recently with Lidl Ireland on their innovative period poverty initiative. Louisa enjoys leveraging clients’ wishes and CSR goals to develop mutually beneficial partnerships for both individuals and corporates alike, while delivering awareness and growth for the organisation.
Project Coordinator TASC Climate Justice Centre
Suzie has broad experience in community development, education, project management and programme design. Suzie worked with VOICE Ireland to deliver the nationwide Recycling Ambassador Programme and most recently with An Cosán as their Social Enterprise Officer and Higher Education Tutor with non-traditional marginalized adult learners.
She co-founded Carraig Dúlra Social Enterprise, a regenerative community education and nature connection and permaculture hub in Co Wicklow in 2008. She has been a catalyst, co-creator and network weaver in TINI (Transition Ireland and Northern Ireland), Transition Global Network (Training Circle Advisory Group), Permaculture Ireland Network, WWOOF Ireland, and the Active Hope Network.
Suzie is a council member and national contact point with ECOLISE (the European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability). She currently serves as a member of the Climate Justice working group with CWI (Community Workers Ireland), and has also served on voluntary boards and advisory groups with social enterprises and charities in Ireland and Internationally: CEART (Centre of Education and Resourcing Travellers) GIY Waterford, CREATE (formerly CAFÉ) and a Steward of the International Permaculture Collaborative Laboratory.
Suzie’s original background was in art therapy and she was one of Ireland’s first creative art therapist and holds an MSc in art therapy from the College New Rochelle, N.Y. Suzie co-founded IACAT (Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists) and has developed art and eco-psychology educational inputs in several university-based programmes including Crawford CIT, and the Irish Hospice Foundation.
Training and Research Officer
Alex is working on TASC’s social inclusion research stream, with a current focus on financial resilience training which aims to assist with addressing levels of debt in private households. He is also conducting research looking at the needs of socially excluded groups in Ireland, and the services that are available to support these groups.
- Social inclusion
- Financial resilience and household debt
Alex has an M.Sc. in Global Migration and Social Justice awarded by the University of Glasgow, which focused on the UK welfare system and constructions of citizenship and identity. While in Glasgow he conducted research on the social impact of changes to local government services, and also led a project examining emergency food provision within the city.
Prior to joining TASC, Alex worked with the Centre for Effective Services on evaluating implementation projects and service design plans within public services.
John comes to TASC with a background in senior office administration.
He has previously worked in large academic, health and government organisations in both Australia and Ireland.
With specialist experience in corporate event management for local government and the charity sector he is a key staff member for TASC fundraising activities.
System administrator for Salesforce CRM for TASC.