EMES Network is an international community of researchers governed by a Board of Directors elected by its members. Its mission is to deal with strategic issues and monitor the progress of the Network. As explained in the statutes, institutional members hold the majority of seats on the Board. Still, the other two categories of individual members (researchers and doctoral students) also have their representatives.
Board members serve a 4-year term and volunteer their time and energy to impact our community and organization directly. The current Board was elected in September-October 2019 during the second open election of the Network.
Late last year, our long-standing member Tracey Coule, representing institutional member Sheffield Hallam University, served on the EMES Board for four years. Tracey helped lead EMES through transitions and brought a new perspective on research projects, conference organization and governance. We are grateful for Tracey’s insight, ideas, dedication and advocacy during the past years. She is succeeded this year by her colleague Ellen Bennett. Congratulation and welcome, Ellen!
What is your background and research interest?
Having worked in charities and social sector organisations for almost ten years, I returned to academia and completed my doctorate in 2015, exploring the relationship between the state and local organisations in the UK. My current research centres on two key areas; I explore national policy and consider how ideas about the social sector change over time. My second key research interest is engaging with organisations through critical and participatory research approaches. I am involved in research across several different professional contexts, including complex multi-sector partnerships, exploring how the social sector is engaged in systems change programmes.
How did you get to know EMES?
I first became involved when Sheffield Hallam University hosted the EMES conference, and I was hugely impressed by the range of fascinating work taking place across the Network. I worked closely with Professor Tracey Coule, who was an active board member, and Sheffield Hallam University is an institutional member.
You just joined the EMES board in the middle of a term. Can you explain what you expect to contribute to the EMES Board?
I’m excited to learn more about current projects and activities within the Network, and I’m particularly keen to ensure Sheffield Hallam plays an active role in supporting programmes of work in the future. Many organisations I work with in the UK are having a challenging time. Wherever our collective and coordinated research efforts can support and enhance frontline work, I feel strongly this is what we should be doing.
Thank you, Ellen and all EMES members on the Board, and we look forward to working together to advance the mission of EMES!