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Rachel Lopata

Institute Associate Profile

Rachel has 30 years of varied experience in market and social research. She has extensive quantitative and qualitative research experience having worked at Director level for two major market research agencies, ORC International and Opinion Leader Research, before setting up her own company, Community Research. She also worked for six years in a local government policy and research role.

Whilst broadly experienced in a range of research approaches, Rachel’s particular areas of expertise are deliberative (informed dialogue) processes and continuous engagement approaches such as online panels. She has recently been working hard to ensure that deliberative research can successfully be undertaken using online methodologies.

Rachel’s company, Community Research, currently runs ongoing panels for both the General Dental Council and The Legal Services Board. In terms of deliberative events, earlier in her career Rachel developed, designed managed and facilitated some of the most high profile deliberative research and consultation exercises ever seen in the UK including, for example, the National Pensions Debate. More recently she has enabled public voices to be heard on a wide range of complex issues including future developments in the energy sector; water resources planning and whether doctors ought automatically be struck off the medical register following a conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.

Her recent clients include a number of local authorities and health trusts as well as the Food Standards Agency, Citizens Advice, Which?, The University of Leeds and Thames Water.

Rachel is a keen scuba diver and co-founder of marine conservation charity Sea-Changers. She is also a runner and (when not under lockdown restrictions) regularly participates in her local community’s Park Run for which she also volunteers.

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