Meet the Team
The team in Tearfund Ireland come from a range of backgrounds and have a passion to see people experience the fullness of life, free from poverty and injustice.
Sean Copeland - Chief Executive Officer
Sean Copeland; BA Christian Education & Biblical Studies; MA Religion; Prof Dip. Management; Prof Dip. Organisational Behaviour. Sean joined Tearfund Ireland in 2018 and currently serves as its CEO. Sean has had senior roles in strategic sales, marketing and business development within the construction and environmental sectors. Specialising in creating new business, Sean helped grow a start-up into a nationally recognised brand and, within larger enterprises, created new sales channels to generate seven-figure revenue growth. Sean also ran his own consultancy business helping organisations build a healthy culture and align their values.
Fun Fact: Sean is a spiritual mentor and is passionate about helping people become all they were created to be. He enjoys watching his kids do what they love, helping dog owners better understand their dogs and spending time on his bike — he’s cycled through 29 counties on the island and is now working on the last three! Sean loves sharing his reflections and perspectives through his writing and frequently contributes to our Tearfund Ireland blog. Check it out HERE
Sophie Moreno - International Programmes Manager
Sophie, Ba Management of Social Innovations; MSc Humanitarian Action. Sophie joined Tearfund Ireland in September 2021 as International Programmes Manager. Sophie has worked with relief and development organisations in Nepal and Turkey, and has managed projects in Ethiopia, Somaliland, and Yemen.
Fun fact: Sophie has lived in four different countries, loves anything outdoors (long walks, hiking, cycling, not so much sea swimming – gotta stay warm) and has even cycled the Wild Atlantic Way! She loves speaking to our partners about their great work which you can see HERE
Mulugeta Dejenu-Haile - Regional Programmes Co-ordinator
Mulugeta Dejenu, MSc in Development Planning & Management, MSc in Transformation in the Workplace, BA in Economics, Mulugeta joined Tearfund Ireland in July 2017 as Regional Programmes Coordinator. Mulugeta has over 20 years of experience working with governments, donors, INGOs (World Vision, TF UK) in the areas of food security, humanitarian assistance, community development and church mobilization. Prior to joining Tearfund Ireland Mulugeta worked with World Vision as Grants Director and with TF UK as Food Security, Regional and Capacity Development advisor. Mulugeta led organizational review processes with World Vision and supported organizational reform initiatives with partners in the field and pioneered the work of Self Help Groups in Ethiopia.
Fun Fact: Mulugeta is married to Heran, has two children (Samuel and Salem) and loves sharing about climate justice and the impact changing climate patterns can have on communities. You can learn more HERE
Emma Lynch - Church Engagement and Education Manager
Emma Lynch: BBS, MA, IITD Certificate in Training and Development (23 years development experience – 8 years overseas), 11 years Development Education experience, member of Irish Institute of Training and Development (IITD). Emma joined Tearfund Ireland as Church and Supporter Relations Coordinator in 2013. Emma represents the Association of Mission Societies on the Church of Ireland Council for Mission. Emma spent several years serving in Nepal with her family during the 1990s.
Fun Fact: Emma spent several years serving in Nepal with her family during the 1990s. From her time there, she learned a trick to keep unwanted insect guests away during your outdoor BBQ, which she can show your church if you have her come and share about Tearfund Ireland. Emma loves meeting congregations around Ireland that want to know more about our work. You can book your speaker HERE.
Amanda Prather - Communications and Fundraising Coordinator
Amanda Prather, BA Film Production; MA International Development. Amanda joined Tearfund in 2018 and has eight years of experience in television broadcasting and photography. Prior to joining Tearfund, she worked as programme coordinator for six years at an NGO in the US, working with Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia to install water wells in their respective countries.
Fun Fact: Amanda’s favourite animal is the shark, loves sea swimming and cycling, has been able to recite the alphabet backwards since the age of five and loves learning how we help children in institutions through our email learning journey HERE.
Freda Owens - Finance Manager
Freda Owens, BComm and FCA. Freda joined Tearfund Ireland in 2021 and has thirty years of experience in the private sector in accounting, project management and training. Freda has been on the board of Agape Ireland since 2021. She is the mother to two adult women and is very happy and privileged to be a part of the Tearfund Ireland Team.
Fun Fact: A devout tea drinker, Freda joined our team and asked us not to judge her for the number of cups of tea she partakes in daily (which may or may not be more than ten). Aside from her appreciation of tea, she also loves learning about the impact of our Ethiopian Self Help Groups through our email learning journey HERE.
Michael Goss - Finance and Administration Coordinator
Michael Goss, BA Hons (Acc & Fin) Finance & Administration Coordinator with 18 years Accounts experience in both Charity and For-Profit sectors. Prior to joining Tearfund Ireland as Finance and Administration Coordinator in May 2013, Michael spent twelve years working in Admin & Finance in the Construction Sector. Michael also worked in the Fundraising and Finance division of the charity Jobcare Ltd.
Fun Fact: An experienced musician, Michael was the drummer for a popular 90’s band who currently languish in the “where are they now?” file and still plays drums and percussion regularly as part of his church’s worship team. Michael loves Psalm 37:4 and always tells the team, “He’s here all week”, which he is. A passionate football fan who plays and manages a local 11 a side team, his favourite workday of the year is our Annual 5 a Side Church Blitz. You can check out our upcoming events HERE
Genet Beyene - Project and Finance Officer
Genet Beyene, BA in Accounting Information System; Master’s in Accounting and Finance. Genet joined Tearfund Ireland as Finance & Project Officer in February 2019. Genet has over 18 years accounts experience for NGOs in different capacities. Prior to joining Tearfund Ireland as Finance and Project Officer, Genet worked sixteen years working in Admin & Finance as Administration and Finance Manager in Tearfund UK and Finance Officer in Tere Dess Homme Netherlands. Genet also worked in the Partner Finance Support Coordinator in Tearfund UK and as Project Accountant in German Agro Action.
Fun Fact: Genet is married with two children and both her and her daughter have recently started crocheting, with hats and scarfs already made! Genet loves how Tearfund Ireland puts Christ at its centre and how you can join with us in prayer HERE
Orla Cluff - Finance and Compliance Co-ordinator
Orla Cluff Dip IPM, ACCA. Orla joined Tearfund Ireland in 2017 and serves as the Finance and Compliance Co-ordinator. Orla has worked for five years in accounting practise in London and Dublin. Prior to that she worked with World Vision in Mozambique as administrator to a regional health Programme. Orla has worked on election monitoring missions to Bosnia, Serbia, Mozambique and Liberia.
Fun Fact: Orla has developed a recent passion for gardening and particularly enjoys learning about the Conservation Agriculture and other techniques that Self Help Group members are applying and seeing the enormous difference they make in production. She loves to experiment in her own garden although the climate is very different! You can learn more about Conservation Agriculture and our Self Help Groups HERE.
Chrissie Balfoort - Supporter Operations Officer
Chrissie joined Tearfund Ireland in October 2011 as Accounts and Administration Officer and assists in finance and administrative duties.
Fun fact: Chrissie loves themed dress parties and lived in Zimbabwe most of her life (and even after 17 years in Ireland, still struggles with Irish winters!) She loves seeing our donor support come in and knows this financial contribution will make an impact on the participants in our programmes. You can support Tearfund Ireland HERE