Dr Shana Cohen
Dr Shana Cohen is the Director of TASC.
She has been director since 2017. In addition to her directorship, she works directly on projects involving social inclusion, economic inequality, democracy, and climate justice. For instance, she is drafting a report for Safe Ireland on how social policy can support victims of DSGBV. She has also worked on the social prescribing programme with the Coop in NEIC and policy reports on migration and social solidarity in the EU, as well as the effect of the financial crisis on the top 10% of income earners in Ireland, Sweden, Spain, and the UK. In addition to her work at TASC, Shana is an Affiliate Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge.
She has published on social action and activism, as well as social change in North Africa, her original area of academic research.She has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB from Princeton University.
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.
Dr Robert Sweeney
FEPS TASC Senior Economic and Policy Analyst
Robert Sweeney is the senior economic policy analyst. His work centres on topics related to inequality. He has completed projects on a variety of topics including income distribution, housing, care, corporate tax, low pay and working conditions.
- Economic inequality
- Working Conditions
- Macroeconomic policy
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 Sara Singleton
Senior Researcher and Social Inclusion Stream Lead
Sara has worked extensively in programme management in the community and voluntary sector. She has managed educational projects in Africa and Asia and worked with refugees, migrants and at-risk young people in Ireland. She has a MA in International Politics and Human Rights from London City University, and a PhD in Sociology from Trinity College Dublin where she researched trust and cohesion in post-conflict communities using qualitative and quantitative methods. As well as her work with TASC, Sara coordinates the Sociology and Social Policy Module for Trinity Access Programmes
Sara leads social inclusion research at TASC. Current projects centre on the social and structural effects of inequality, social exclusion, and poverty. This includes work on financial resilience and domestic violence, as well as developing work on cross border cooperation and the intersection between social inclusion and climate action. Research findings contribute to policy debate and the evaluation and development of programmes and interventions.
- Social effects of poverty and inequality
- Financial resilience
- Digital literacy
- Domestic violence
- Conflict and reconciliation
Dr Emily Murphy
TASC Senior Researcher | Health Inequalities
Emily has carried out cross-national research in several European countries, at Oxford University, University of Zürich, and most recently at the University of Luxembourg. She studied Business, Economics and Social Studies at Trinity College Dublin, before completing her MSc at Oxford University. Emily holds a PhD in economic sociology from the University of Lausanne (NCCR LIVES).
At TASC, Emily’s research tackles health inequalities. Current projects centre on examining the systemic and structural determinants of health to inform evidence-based policy change in Ireland and Europe more broadly. This includes a focus on mental health, socio-economic drivers of cancer inequalities, and evaluating best practices to enhance health at the community level, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Areas of Expertise
- Inequality, social mobility and social policy
- Health inequalities
- Mental health
- Education, employment and skills
- Comparative, life-course and longitudinal research
Holmes, C., Murphy, E. and Mayhew, K., 2021. What accounts for changes in the chances of being NEET in the UK?. Journal of Education and Work, 34(4), pp.389-413.
Chauvel, L., Haim, E.B., Hartung, A. and Murphy, E. 2021. Rewealthization in twenty-first century Western countries: the defining trend of the socioeconomic squeeze of the middle class. The Journal of Chinese Sociology, 8(1), pp.1-17.
Researcher and Community Engagement Coordinator, Climate Justice
Róisín is working on TASC’s climate justice stream. This area of research focuses on community-led climate action that seeks to address inequality. Current projects focus on cross-border community climate action, the intersection between climate change and health in disadvantaged communities, and phase II of The People’s Transition.
Róisín has recently completed an MSc in Climate Change: Policy, Media and Society at Dublin City University. Passionate about community-led solutions to the climate crisis, Róisín’s research analysed social capital in community sport and its potential to act as a unifier collective action. In collaboration with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Róisín used qualitative research methods to examine phase 1 of the GAA’s Green Clubs Programme which saw more than 40 clubs—in urban and rural areas—across the island of Ireland work in partnership with a local authority or organisation to engage in community-led environmental initiatives across the areas of Energy, Water, Waste, Biodiversity and Transport.
Róisín holds a BA in Global Business and Spanish from Dublin City University and Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid and has extensive experience in the not for profit sector working as a Fundraising Coordinator with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, and more recently as a Direct Marketing Executive at Concern Worldwide. Alongside her work at TASC, Róisín also volunteers with local grassroots climate action groups.
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.
Social Media and Communications Assistant
Falaena Rothwell spent 4 years in the Academy of Media and Entertainment at Calabasas High School. During that time, she learned every aspect of the film industry, from scriptwriting and film techniques to costume design and make-up.
Falaena is currently a UCD undergraduate studying a BSc in Social Sciences, a major in International Relations and a minor in Linguistics. This field is crucial to her because she believes that everyone deserves the best that life can offer, and governments should help to ensure that.
Having been a part of Girls Scouts of the USA for 10 years, she has had various experiences with community work, achieving the bronze and silver award during that time. While growing up in Los Angeles, home to the largest unsheltered homeless population in the USA, she got to see the 'tent cities' up close and personally. This experience motivated her to pursue this field and to try to make a difference.
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.
TASC Democracy Advisor
Christopher worked for twenty years to strengthen democratic institutions, processes and culture in the global South, and before that for the Leader of a British political party and a non-governmental campaigning organisation.
He was Senior Professional Officer at Electoral Reform International Services, a London-based not-for-profit democracy NGO, from 2008 to 2014; Head of Democracy in the Political Affairs Division and Advisor to the Secretary-General, Commonwealth Secretariat, from 1994 to 2006; staff member in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, London, when Neil Kinnock was Leader of the British Labour Party, from 1983 to 1992; and Trade Union and Local Groups Officer at the London headquarters of the Anti-Apartheid Movement from 1976 to 1982 and for part of that time Deputy Secretary.
Christopher has a BA and an MA from the University of Durham, both in politics. He retired in 2014, has lived in Dublin since 2015 and assisting TASC on a voluntary basis.