Tara Susman-Peña is a senior technical advisor in IREX’s Center for Applied Learning and Impact and in the Information & Media practice.
Tara manages and provides technical support to media development projects for IREX in Mozambique, Latin America, and Europe / Eurasia. She led the development of IREX's Vibrant Information Approach and leads the design, testing, and implementation of the related measurement, VIBE (the Vibrant Information Barometer). Her work also focuses on adapting and expanding IREX's media and information literacy methodology, Learn to Discern, for the United States and other countries. Tara is a gender Focal Point at IREX.
Tara specializes in the role of media, information, and innovation in governance, development, and resilience. Her experience includes strategic planning, learning, human-centered research and design, impact, evaluation, and international development policy. Previously, she was a lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Prior to IREX, Tara was at Internews in the Center for Innovation and Learning, where she led research on media development, information ecosystems, innovation, and aid effectiveness. She also evaluated pilot projects and digital security interventions. She has published extensively on issues related to media, communications technology, and innovation in development. As a consultant, she provided strategic communications and planning to the World Bank Institute, US government contractors, nonprofits, and small businesses. Previously, Tara worked in audience research at NPR, and in commercial market research and communications strategy. She has lived in Havana, Cuba, and is fluent in Spanish.
Tara has an MA in sociocultural anthropology from Columbia University and a BA in religious studies from Yale University.