Our research leaders

Prof. Kate Reynolds

Director

Kate is a Professor in the Australian National University, College of Health and Medicine, Research School of Psychology and leads the ANU Grand Challenge "Australian Social Cohesion: Exploring New Directions". As a psychologist, Kate sees social cohesion as a critical component of community wellbeing. She aspires to drive real world societal impact, using her leadership and research talents to bring together researchers, communities, government, and industry provide a holistic response to the challenges of strengthening social cohesion.

Prof. Ann Evans

S1 Synthesis Lead

Ann is a demographer at the Australian National University, College of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Demography. Demography examines the composition of human populations, and Ann has a particular interest in how different communities build social cohesion. She leads the "synthesis" component to ASCEND, which will bring disciplines together to create new measurement tools to break down barriers to social cohesion.

Dr. Babita Bhat

S2 Stocktake Lead

Babita is a lecturer in The Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, Research School of Management. Her work on this project focuses on strengthening social cohesion in communities through social innovation, including social enterprises and social capital. As an expert in business and management, Babita wants to show how innovative businesses with social objectives can contribute to building social cohesion.

Dr. Clarke Jones

S3 Solve Lead

Clarke is a criminologist and senior research fellow based at the Australian National University, College of Health and Medicine, Research School of Psychology. His interest in social cohesion aims to target "hard to reach" groups and he is committed to implementing community driven solutions with these complex communities. Clarke has built trusted friendships within these group over time will lead our group to co-designing large scale interventions for threats to social cohesion.

Prof. Israr Qureshi

S4 Scale-up Lead

Israr is a Professor of Social Entrepreneurship and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development. His goal is to bring positive benefits to communities through improving systems and creating solutions to effect change. Israr's aims for this project is to design strategies that can be scaled for communities to implement and achieve social impact.

Dr Michael Zekulin

S5 Share Lead

Michael is a political scientist with an interest in radicalization and understanding how messaging and communication strategies help shape ideas. On this project he will lead our engagement with networks and forums with an aim to shape the national conversation and promote the knowledge we generate in this project.