Daragh John Hamilton

Year of Enrollment: 

Profile & Values

Daragh comes from a seaside village just outside Dublin, Ireland. 

He spent his twenties mostly studying, working and travelling across seven countries and several continents - learning from a variety of people, cultures and ideologies along the way. Although currently based in the Irish capital, he remains available to engage in research, consultancy work or other opportunties abroad. 

His Ph.D. focuses on the potential of new deliberative processes to achieve positive environmental outcomes.  As a Research Affiliate at the Democracy Insitute, he has worked on multi-lateral, EU and national projects directly related to his research.

Daragh also has extensive experience at the “political coalface” within the UNEP, EU and national & local level institutions. This has enabled him to see first-hand “the good, the bad and the ugly” of existing political structures, systems and processes. In drawing on these experiences, he hopes that his research outcomes can help to strengthen both democratic processes and environmental outcomes.

In addition to his academic and professional interests (see below), he is a keen traveller, hiker and "feral citizen" (Garside, 2013) of the world.  Having held a number of diverse "odd jobs" at the hard edge of the labour market - from dishwasher,  to deli assistant and teacher in a diplomatic school - he is passionate about promoting better conditions for those working on the frontline.

Overall, this path has served to strengthen his values of openness, truthfulness and enduring curiosity.

Academic Achievements & Student Life

  • Personal Research & Activities

Daragh is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy of Central European University (CEU). 

His research examines the potential for deliberative innovations to promote positive environmental outcomes; specifically, the relationship between emerging and traditional parliamentary processes. He has been awarded the CEU Excellence Scholarship and the Academic Achievement Award for First-Year Doctoral Students. 

Daragh previously obtained a First Class Honours BA in Business and Politics from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He has since completed two Master Degrees' specializing in Comparative Public Policy & Welfare Studies (Southern University of Denmark) and Environmental Sciences & Policy (CEU) respectively.

He has extensive experience from his prior thesis research engaging in qualitiative research and interviews with key stakeholders.

Throughout his student life, he has been keen to hear the concerns of fellow students and work with relevant institutional actors to deliver real change. As a Departmental/Class Rep, he has sought to effectively represent his peers on various Academic Boards (SDU) and the CEU Doctoral Programme Committee.

  • Academic Affiliations

Daragh is currently a Research Affiliate within the Environment & Democracy Working Group (EDWG) at the Democracy Insitute (DI). The DI & EDWG strive to enable the renewal and strengthening of democratic processes.

The EDWG is a consortium partner on the EU REAL_DEAL project. It aims to stimulate a pan-European debate to reshape citizens’ and stakeholders’ active participation through deliberative processes around the European Green Deal

Consultancy & Employment Experience

  • Consultancy Projects 

Daragh has served as an advisor/consultant on deliberative projects for the UNEP, Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Think-tank for Action on Social Change (TASC). 

For the former consultancy project, he served as a Lead Researcher and Co-author on the UNEP@50 Taskforce which cumulated in "The UNEP We Want:  Major Groups & Stakeholders Report on the Future of UNEP and UNEA".

As part of this process, he led the work of critically analysing existing stakeholder processes within the UNEP, with his recommendations noting the potential of deliberative processes to improve relevant stakeholder engagement, legitimacy and overall environmental outcomes. 

This work involved preparing international surveys, stakeholder consultations and facilitation sessions. This feedback fed into the co-drafting of the Joint Statement by Major Groups and Stakeholders The UNEP We Want which noted the need for deliberative processes to streghten UNEP stakeholder engagement.

Additionally, Daragh interviewed leading thought-leaders on deliberative democracy, including Prof. John S. Dryzek from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy, as part of his research.

This seminal 50th Anniversary UNEP Report was ultimately presented at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA- 5) .

Daragh also led a joint "intervention" at the UNEP Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR)  on behalf of the Science & Technology Grouping.

  • Professonal Employment

Daragh's past employment includes EU level experience as an environmental policy researcher and assistant with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU). As part of this role, he helped to negotiate and jointly draft the EU Social Partnership for Electricity Sector commitment to a “just transition”. 

He also regularly engaged with EU Commission, EU Parliament and international processes during his time in BrusselFor instance, he was part of a COP21 delegation (Paris 2016). Herein, he prepared the speaking notes for the EPSU General Secterary's keynote address and helped draft the Joint European Social Partners Position on a "Just Energy Transition".

At home in Ireland, Daragh has recently worked as the Head of Policy for a Political Party and most recently as a Political & Policy Advisor (on economic & environmental issues) for a senior Irish politician.

His past political & policy work demanded the delievery of high-quality outputs to strict deadlines, including the following:

  • publishing policy papers, manifestos and public submissions for national stakeholder processes (e.g. National Development Programme); 
  • preparing timely media statements, Op-Eds and interview briefs for national outlets (print, broadcast & new media)
  • researching & promoting a range of legislative Bills and regulatory initiatives (including on environmental metrics);
  • efficiently listening and responding to stakeholders' diverse needs and ensuring the effective delivery of public services for (over 150,000 ) constituents
  • drafting regular speeches (including National Budget speeches), parliamentary questions and critques directed at the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and other national stakeholders.

Daragh has also engaged in media, speech writing and other training courses as part of his ongoing professional development.

Collaboration Opportunities

Feel free to reach out to Daragh by email to discuss any academic, professional or other opportunities. 


BA in Business and Political Science - Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Ireland
MSc in Comparative Public Policy and Welfare Studies - Southern University of Denmark (SDU)
MSc in Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University (CEU), Budapest
Erasmus Scholarship - Uppsala University, Sweden