Dr Gemma’s Bio
Dr Gemma McKenna is the Policy and Research Lead at Fixers. Previously she was a Parliamentary Researcher at the Parliamentary Research Service, UK Parliament, providing research support to the Shadow Cabinet and backbench (Labour) MPs (2012-2014). This role followed on from working for the former Minister of State for Northern Ireland, the late Rt Hon. Paul Goggins MP. She has also held other parliamentary, research and public affairs positions with West Midlands in Europe, Brussels; Fabian Society; Institute for Public Policy Research and Portsmouth City Council.
She took a First Class degree in International Business Studies from the University of Portsmouth and an MA with Merit in International Development: Social Policy and Social Development from the University of Manchester. Continuing her studies, Gemma was awarded a scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council and Crisis, to undertake a doctoral degree. She completed her thesis Tackling the Labour Market Exclusion of Homeless People: the Role of Social Enterprise before returning to Parliament in 2012. Papers from the thesis have been presented at a number of conferences, winning Middlesex University’s Best Academic Paper prize in 2011. Gemma is focused on research approaches that ensure vulnerable young people and adults have their voices heard and are central to shaping the services they use to suit their needs.