Rebekah joined Involve in April 2018, and leads on Involve's work in Northern Ireland. Her focus is on developing the awareness, understanding, and use of participatory and deliberative tools across government and civil society.
Her inaugural project was to develop the first Citizens’ Assembly for Northern Ireland - a democratic innovation designed to put the views of Northern Ireland's citizens into the heart of decision making on the reform of social care for older people, which ran in October and November 2018.
Since then, Rebekah has worked to broaden the scope of what we do in Northern Ireland to include training and capacity building, research and policy advice, advocacy, and a range of projects with partners like the School of Public Health at Queens University Belfast, Housing Rights, Community Foundation Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Irish Central Border Area Network, Community Places, and SONI.
Prior to joining Involve, Rebekah worked for 6 years in the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland, developing programmes and projects with a focus on community participation, education, and research, especially in the context of place and community.
Rebekah began her academic career with a degree in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology. Her undergraduate thesis looked at the phenomenon of ethical consumerism, an interest that eventually led her to pursue graduate studies in Anthropology. She graduated with a PG-Dip in Anthropology from Ireland’s Maynooth University in 2008. She then undertook a PhD funded by the Irish Research Council exploring urban sustainability, symbolic landscapes, and contested spaces. She's an experienced ethnographer, conducting fieldwork in New York City, the US-Mexico border regions, and Belfast.
Outside of Involve, Rebekah is the Chair of the Northern Ireland Open Government Network and campaigns for more transparent and participatory urban planning in Belfast. She's also mother to a young daughter and loves getting out into the wild landscapes of Northern Ireland as much as possible.