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Moira O’Neil, Ph.D.

Moira O'Neil serves as Senior Vice President of Research Interpretation at the FrameWorks Institute

Senior Vice President of Research Interpretation

Moira O’Neil serves as Senior Vice President of Research Interpretation at the FrameWorks Institute. In this role, she leads FrameWorks’ efforts to interpret and share communications science with the nonprofit sector so it can more effectively drive social change. Moira manages a team of communications professionals and social scientists who help fields of practice frame social issues in ways that have the proven power to deepen understanding and inspire action. She oversees the team’s efforts to synthesize framing research, teach advocates to apply it to strategic communications, and train sectors to unite around evidence-based framing recommendations. A senior researcher, Moira also directs the organization’s efforts to analyze framing patterns in the media and nonprofit sector and writes in-depth research reports on a wide range of topics, including immigration, child mental health, and housing and homelessness.

A sociologist with expertise in how frames impede or advance social movements, Moira has helped hundreds of organizations strengthen their communications capacity. She regularly delivers presentations and lectures on issue framing at nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities around the country and abroad. And she publishes regularly in the academic press, with articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals including Child Abuse and Neglect, Generations, Qualitative Research, and the Revue Internationale d’Education de Sèvres. Her work has also appeared in USA Today, The Hechinger Report, The Boston Globe, and other publications.

Moira joined FrameWorks more than a decade ago. Since then, she has conducted framing research around dozens of social issues and has led major projects to reframe the public discourse around immigration, race, and criminal justice. She also brings deep expertise in issues related to sexual violence, equity, and equality. Prior to joining FrameWorks, Moira worked as a research associate for the Vera Institute of Justice on projects related to immigration policy and at the Institute for Scientific Analysis on issues related to substance misuse and drug policy. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she studied the medicalization of war trauma at the turn of the 20th century in the United States.

United States