Meet Our Team

The WWGS Team

Katie Chapple


Katie was an English and Geography Post-Primary teacher for over 20 years. She has also worked as a consultant and student facilitator with UNICEF, MIC, and the Department of Education. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Leadership and Master of Education. At present, Katie is completing a PhD in Education which centers on eliciting the voices of young people in Post-Primary classrooms under the supervision of Dr. J. Fitzgerald and Dr. F. O’Murchú.

Katie has twice been awarded the John Coolahan Research Support Framework bursary, from the Teaching Council of Ireland where research focused firstly on amplifying student voices and secondly on teacher’s engagement with CPD. Katie was awarded a Departmental Assistantship in 2021-2022 and worked in administration, lecturing and tutoring with the Educational Psychology, Inclusive and Special Education Department in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. In 2022-2023, Katie received the Mary Immaculate College Doctoral Award as recognition for her work and scholarship.

Katie is a member of the Research Engagement Group (REG), a Teaching Council group which works to facilitate teachers in accessing and engaging with research. Katie also hosts a Student Voice Community of Practice in Limerick Education Centre for practitioners interested in amplifying the voices of young people in education settings. As a teacher, Katie was involved in Concern Debating (Adjudicator and Mentor), YSI, Greenschools, Poetry Aloud, Dáil100, TedEd and The Hope Foundation.

Rita Walsh

Deputy Director

Rita has been working for over twelve years in international development and community development in Ireland and has worked directly with schools in the delivery of GCE. She holds an MA in the Sociology of Development and has worked with two international NGOs over the past decade, including working overseas in East Timor in a project delivery capacity. Rita has more recently worked with Self Help Africa in a project support capacity for overseas country programmes, including Ethiopia and Malawi.

Rita has extensive grant management experience having spent five years working with Pobal on the disbursement of grant funding to an extensive range of community and voluntary groups across Ireland.

Eleftheria Papamichali


Eleftheria joined the WWGS team in 2021. Her responsibility as a Programme Administrator for WWGS is to ensure the integrity of the WWGS programme by providing full support across the whole WWGS programme and staff team.

Eleftheria has vast experience in GCE and programme administration.

Mary Byrne

Database Administrator

Mary joined the WWGS team in 2020. Her responsibility as a database administrator for WWGS is to ensure the integrity of the WWGS database. She is involved in the planning and development of the database, as well as in troubleshooting any issues on behalf of the users. She works to ensure that data remains consistent across the database.

Mary has vast experience in database administration.

Lisa Gallagher

Grants and Operations Officer

Lisa has a background working in Financial Services and holds a BA in Business Studies. Lisa has a keen interest in Global Citizenship Education and the Development/ Education sectors. Lisa holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Development from Maynooth University (formerly Kimmage). Lisa previously worked with Plan International Dublin in a Business Development role. While there she visited programmes in Burkina Faso. She also visited Uganda as a volunteer in 2016.

Lisa believes engaging young people in local and global issues is critical. Not only can this benefit themselves in becoming active global citizens, but this also benefits their communities and beyond. Lisa would love to see Global Citizenship Education even more widely available to young people in Ireland.

Fiona O’Shea

Resource and Curriculum Officer

Fiona joined the WWGS team in 2023. She holds a PhD in Child and Youth Studies from UCD, and her thesis explored Irish children and young people’s experiences of lived citizenship across their homes, schools and communities. Central to this was a global justice perspective which built upon the human rights approach in her Masters in Inclusive Education. Fiona is an Irish Research Council scholar and also has over 15 years’ experience as an educator at primary, post-primary and third level, as well as internationally. She has a keen interest in teaching and learning, from the position of both learner and teacher. Fiona is passionate about global citizenship education and aims to apply her academic knowledge and hands-on experience to bring GCE into the everyday lives of learners, teachers and schools.

Lizzy Noone

Education Officer (East, based in Dublin)

Lizzy has been working with schools on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and campaigning for over 25 years. GCE is about learning and doing to make the world a better place for all 8 billion people who live on our lovely planet by critically questioning and thinking and looking at systems and structures we have in the world that lead it to being unequal.

She believes that GCE can fit into every subject area and would love to see the day when all young people in Ireland have access to Global Citizenship Education on a regular basis. She is also very involved in community drama, art and music and believes that they all have the power to change the world for the better!

Debbie Thomas


Debbie trained as a BBC radio journalist and lived in Bangladesh and South Africa for ten years, working in radio and written development journalism. She has designed and facilitated GCE workshops for twelve years as part of the WWGS-Poetry Ireland programme, combining her GCE experience with her work as a children’s author. She has published six novels for children and is the writer-in-residence at Crumlin Children’s Hospital Solas School.

Debbie loves to encourage creative thinking and global awareness in a fun, affirming
environment, and sees constantly the power of GCE to enhance empathy, perspective and wellbeing in young people. Volunteering for NGOs based in Nepal and Zambia, she is awed by the values we share, and the diversity we enjoy, across the globe. She loves working with teachers, students and groups in nonformal education to tackle injustice and build a more beautiful planet.

Laura Power

Education Officer (South, based in Waterford)

Laura holds an MA in Politics from UCC, with particular expertise in exploring the power of systemic injustices such as gender inequality. Laura’s academic work sparked her continued commitment to encourage others to critically think, explore new perspectives, and reconstruct views.

She has over 9 years’ teaching, facilitation, and programme management experience in the NGO and education sectors.

Laura was awarded a place on the ‘EU India 40 under 40 Young Leader’ list at The European Parliament for her work on building relationships between Ireland and India, and is an alumna of the Washington Ireland Programme for Service and Leadership.

Laura is passionate about GCE; the power of it, and the small yet significant steps that can be taken to help change the world.

Sadhbh Bhreathnach


Having grown up in a bilingual household speaking both Irish and English fostered a life-long interest in a broad range of languages for Sadhbh. She has a keen interest in the power of language and communication, and how to harness that power to support young peoples’ education journeys through life. 

Sadhbh has an MSc. in Business and I.T. through Gaeilge from DCU and a Higher Teaching and Learning Qualification from IADT. She has lectured on a range of areas from Gaeilge, Second Language Acquisition, Professional Practice, and Leading Inclusive Practice. As the Programme Director of the BA Honours in Montessori Education from 2020 to 2023, she has expertise in managing, delivering, and directing teacher training programmes and has seen empirically the need for education at all levels to embed principles of Global Citizen Education across the curriculum to develop critical thinking around social and ecological injustices.

She is excited to work as part of a team passionate about providing initiatives that help develop a more informed, empathetic, and equitable global society – bringing about real change at ground level.

Sinéad Hayes (On Leave)


Sinéad has an MA in International Development from Maynooth University. Her key focus of study were approaches to learning, sustainability and what drives people to make and create change. She has been working in education, management, public engagement and advocacy since 2015.

Sinéad has vast experience in facilitation and training across sectors. She has worked with schools, businesses, community groups and volunteers to define shared goals and take collective and informed action. Sinéad believes that GCE is for everyone – its methodologies and interconnectedness greatly enhance learning across curricula and create critical and motivated thinkers.

Aoife Rankin (On Leave)

Education Officer (West, based in Galway)

Aoife has over 12 years of teaching experience at post-primary level in Ireland. She holds a BA in International Marketing & Japanese from DCU and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from NUIG. Aoife is a fluent Irish speaker and completed an MA in Teaching Languages through the medium of Irish with NUIG in 2011. She is currently doing an MSc in Education Management & Training (through eLearning) with DCU.

From her professional experience at post-primary level, Aoife considers Global Citizenship Education to be an invaluable area of learning in helping students build an awareness of global issues and nurture in them a deep interest, respect, and desire for positive change in our global community.