Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw

Jess is a New Zealand researcher, writer and communicator, interested in the values that inform the development and implementation of evidence-based policy.

Dr Jessica Berentson-Shaw, IGPS Senior Associate

She is also interested in how we build public and political support for socio-economic, cultural, and environmental solutions to the big social and economic problems of our time.

Contact details

Email: jess@theworkshop.org.nz


Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw's focus is starting and contributing to conversations about public policy that matters to those people most affected and who's voices are less frequently heard. In terms of best evidence, Jess is interested in what works to deliver equity in wellbeing, and achieve a more inclusive New Zealand. Her work to date spans the social, economic and political spectrum. Jess was awarded a PhD in Health Psychology from Victoria University in 2003 and has worked in both the UK and New Zealand applying evidence to achieve equity.

In recent years, Jess has returned to her psychology roots, focussing on policy communications that "go with the grain of cognition". That is how do we better connect people with what matters, what is true, and what to do in public policy using the science of communication?

Jess is co-director of the think and do tank, The Workshop

Public communications

Jess commentates on policy in a wide range of media, including Newsroom, The Spinoff, the Wireless and RNZ. She can be found on Twitter at @DrJessBerentson