Our Team

Serena Mizzoni - Director, Ashoka Ireland

Serena is the Director for Ashoka Ireland. Born and raised in Dublin, she has Irish, Welsh and Italian roots. Following her studies in 2009, she founded a talent consultancy firm providing mentorship for recent graduates. She joined Ashoka in 2011, hiring 30 young entrepreneurial professionals as Change Executives for the first Change Nation event. She is passionate about championing the unique and holistic skill-set that Gen Y entrepreneurs have to offer. Serena holds a B.A. in Human Resource Management and an M.A. in Strategic HR from Dublin City University.

Erin Fornoff

Erin is Venture Integrator for Ashoka Europe, coordinating the selection of new Fellows across the region. A native of Asheville, North Carolina, she was a field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign in two states. While working in Ashoka’s headquarters in Washington D.C., she organized collaborations on water, launching initiatives in Africa, Asia and South America. She is a published poet and Artistic Director for Lingo, Ireland’s first spoken work festival. Erin holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for the M.Phil. in Creative Writing at Trinity College. 

Kathryn O'Shea 

Kathryn is the Manager for Change Nation, overseeing a portfolio of 35 international and Irish social solutions. A native of Donegal, she worked with the Niall Mellon Township Trust in South Africa and the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland following her studies. She has travelled to India twice to volunteer with Suas Educational Development, and completed her Gaisce Gold medal award in 2009 before joining Ashoka Ireland in 2010. She is passionate about identifying and leveraging solutions to defend human rights. A fluent Gaelic speaker, Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from NUI Galway and a Master in Human Rights from the University of Sydney.

Conor Ward

Conor is Manager for the Changemaker Skills Programme and Head of Finance. Following his studies, Conor worked at The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of Ireland’s largest philanthropic networks and a leader in the field. He also worked with Ashoka Fellow Caroline Casey on the expansion of her organization, Kanchi, before joining Ashoka in 2010. He is passionate about expanding access to quality education in Ireland and abroad, and has traveled to the West Bank to work with education specialists in Israel and Palestine. Conor holds a B.A. in Business and Politics from Trinity College.

Barry Flinn

Barry is Head of Communications for Ashoka Ireland. He is a cultural hybrid, with roots in California, rural County Limerick and Dublin. Following his studies in 2011, he spent 7 months travelling from Cairo to Cape Town before returning home to manage the summer programme for his family’s business, Free-Range Kids. He joined Ashoka in 2012 in advance of the first Change Nation event. His passions include writing screenplays for films and documentaries, and figuring out what makes people tick. Barry holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.Sc. in Development Studies from University College Dublin.

Rebecca Kilbane 

Rebecca is Head of Accelerator, sourcing talent and managing partnerships. A native of County Meath, she volunteered on the TD Marriage Equality campaign during her studies in Dublin. Since 2011, she has worked with Ashoka US Fellow Sanjeev Arora’s Project ECHO on expanding health care access in Ireland, and was selected as a One Young World Ambassador for Ireland in 2012. She is focused on expanding Ashoka’s network to include more female leaders. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Political Science, Philosophy, Economics and Sociology from Trinity College.

Fiona Koch

Fiona is an Associate working across Communications and Changemaker Skills. A third-culture kid, she has roots in Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and the US. During her studies, she led a non-profit selling Haitian artwork to fund sustainable initiatives in rural Haiti. Following graduation she held positions in fundraising at Worldwatch Institute in DC and Fountain House in New York, before working for Ashoka Ireland Fellow Steve Collins. She is passionate about finding creative ways to combat economic, social and gender inequality. Fiona holds a B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College.

 

Learn more about our team of Change Executives, who are helping us to spread Change Nation's 50 Proven Solutions.

Advisory Board:

Paul O’Hara - Director, Ashoka Europe

Based in Dublin, Paul is a director of Ashoka in Europe, having established Ashoka in Ireland and Scandinavia, launching key programmes in support of social entrepreneurs. Paul is also the founder of Change Nation and the Localizer process. Born and raised in the beautiful West of Ireland, Paul studied Commerce at NUI Galway, Marketing at the Smurfit School of Business, University College Dublin, and spent the next five years working in various marketing and commercial roles at Unilever Bestfoods and Cadbury Schweppes. An entrepreneur since his teenage years, Paul founded an award winning social business called The Hope Concept in 2005. Paul has represented his county and province in several sports and other interests include travel, reading and cinema.

 

 

Caroline Casey, Kanchi

Caroline Casey is the Founder of Kanchi (formerly The Aisling Foundation) and the O2 Ability Awards and is also an international speaker and adventurer. A social entrepreneur, Caroline sits on the board for several government, business and not-for-profit organisations. Since setting up The Aisling Foundation in 2000, with the aim of enhancing the relationship between disability and society, Caroline has received several high profile awards in recognition of her work worldwide. She was the first Irish person to be appointed a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from NUI Ireland in the same year. In 2006 she also became the first Ashoka fellow from Ireland and the UK and received the Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2007, Caroline was invited back to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she presented on a variety of issues relating to the area of disability. A former management consultant with Accenture, Caroline is visually impaired to the degree that she is registered as legally blind.

 

John Concannon, Fáilte Ireland 

John is Director of Market Development for Failte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority. He also serves as Chairman of COPE Galway, a non profit organization.  John’s past positions include CEO of Ireland West Tourism, which merged with Failte Ireland. He was Marketing Manager and Brand Manager at Unilever, and served as Marketing Executive for Dunbarry Ireland.  He was selected as “Marketer of the Year” in 2010 for his “Ireland: The Fun Starts Here” campaign. Educated at NUI Galway, he lives in the west of Ireland and has three children.

 

Bride Rosney, Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice

Bride was the Director of Communications with the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ from 2001 to 2009, having previously worked as Special Advisor to Mary Robinson for an eight-year period, during her time as President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. With over twenty years experience in education at both second and third levels, she previously worked as a teacher, educational researcher and school principal. Bride is currently the Secretary of Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice.

 

Tim Brosnan, Abbey Capital

Tim has supported development in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000. His early career was in Ireland’s Department of Finance, development banking and investment banking. Since the 1980s, he has been an entrepreneur and investor in international financial markets. He is non-executive Chair of Abbey Capital Ltd, a leading managed futures investment company, which he co-founded in 2000. Tim is also a member of the Ashoka Support Network.

 

Learn more about Ashoka's staff on our Europe Team, Global Team, Senior Leadership Team, and Global Board of Directors.