Tara Casanova Powell is the Director of Research of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation USA, Inc. a charitable, independent road safety institute. Ms. Powell is highly published in the field and has presented at several international and national conferences.  


Tara was the Director of Research for Cedar Island Marine Research Laboratory for seven years (1999-2006). Tara devised methodology and modeling for population research studies and was a consultant to create protocol and develop government policy for invasive species management and environmental impact strategies.


Tara was the Vice President/Co-founder of the non-profit Combat Veterans Sports Foundation (CVSF), where she developed cooperative initiatives with Major League Baseball (MLB) teams and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to provide internships for wounded combat veterans. Tara also co-developed an online degree program that promoted educational opportunities and corporate internships to eligible active-duty military placed in warrior-in-transition units or medically retired veterans who suffered a service-connected disability or disabilities in active service.


Tara, in conjunction with Hamden High School in Hamden, CT, teaches a yearly week-long subtropical marine ecology class at the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences, St. Georges, Bermuda. Tara has worked with several state and federal agencies, including CDC, GHSA, IIHS and NHTSA.


Tara received her M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Population and Community Ecology (2001) and a B.S. in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Marine Studies (1995) from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.


Tara taught several upper-level biology classes for twelve years (1995-2006) as Adjunct Faculty at Southern Connecticut State University and served as the biology club advisor for ten years.

Tara is a founding member of the Connecticut Statewide Impaired Driving Task Force. Tara is also a manuscript reviewer for Traffic Injury Prevention.

Tara Casanova Powell

Funding for this initiative was made possible  by grant no. 1H79TI081720 from SAMHSA.  The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by DAODAS.