Extensions to Department for the Economy public appointments

Date published: 09 January 2019

The Department for the Economy has announced extensions to the terms of office of a number of chairs and board members of public bodies sponsored by the Department.

Extensions to DfE public appointments
Extensions to DfE public appointments

Labour Relations Agency

The tenure of Chair Marie Mallon has been further extended for another six months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019. The tenures of board members Alison Millar, Gary McMichael, Pauline Shepherd, Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Jill Minne and Daire Murphy have also been further extended for another six months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019. The tenures of board members Louise Crilly and Michelle McGinley have been extended from 16 November 2018 to 30 June 2019. The tenure of board member Albert Mills has been extended from 23 November 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Stranmillis University College

The tenure of Chair Professor Sir Desmond Rea has been further extended for another six months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019. The tenures of board members Ken Nelson, Robert Thompson, Dr Esmond Birnie, Richard Hanna, Edgar Jardine, Claire Moore and William Patterson have also been further extended for six months from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2019.

The extensions were made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. More information is available at the cpani website .

Notes to editors: 

1. The LRA is a non-departmental public body with responsibility for promoting the improvement of employment relations in Northern Ireland. The LRA provides impartial and independent services for promoting good employment practices and preventing and resolving disputes. Chair remuneration is currently £24,675 per annum with a time commitment of six days per month. Remuneration for a Board Member is currently £5,304 per annum with a time commitment of at least one day per month.

2. Stranmillis University College was founded in 1922 by the then recently established Ministry of Education for Northern Ireland to provide state-funded teacher training alongside that already available at the existing St Mary’s College. Both institutions have become academically recognised as university colleges of Queen’s University Belfast. Stranmillis offers teacher training for the primary and secondary school sectors as well as professional development courses, a BA in Early Childhood Studies and a BSc in Health, Physical Activity and Sport. Governing Body posts attract no remuneration but members can receive reasonable travel and subsistence payments for attending meetings.

3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees (if any declared) to be published. The extendees have all declared no political activity.

4. Pen pictures:

Labour Relations Agency

Marie Mallon 

Marie Mallon was appointed to the Chair of the Labour Relations Agency with effect from 1 August 2014 following her retirement from the post of Deputy Chief Executive/Director of HR in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.  Prior to this Marie held many senior posts within Health and Social Care and was a member of the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals for 15 years. Marie also sat as an independent member on the Departmental Boards of DCAL and DFI.  She is currently an associate of the Health and Social Care Leadership Centre and also undertakes independent HR consultancy. Marie has recently been appointed Chair of the Chairs Forum. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Alison Millar

Alison Millar is the General Secretary of the Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA). She has overall responsibility for the general work of the union as well as the management of all the staff and finances of the union.  Alison is the key representative on many of the civil and public service negotiating bodies.  Alison was previously the Deputy General Secretary for NIPSA and had responsibility for major policy issues including Welfare Reform, Review of Public Administration and matters relevant to the Health Service, Education, Libraries, Housing Executive and Local Government.  Alison is also the lead negotiator on the Public Service Shared Service Programme which is a cross cutting initiative arising out of the Fresh Start Agreement. She is a Vice-President of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and a member of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Gary McMichael

Gary McMichael has been the Chief Officer of the Northern Ireland charity Action on Substances through Community Education and Related Training (ASCERT) since 2001. He formerly served on Lisburn City Council for 12 years and was a member of the NI Civic Forum. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Pauline Shepherd

Pauline is the Chief Executive of Independent Health & Care Providers.  She is a HR consultant, coach and mediator. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Deirdre Fitzpatrick

Deirdre is a management consultant, and runs her own consultancy practice.  She works across the public, private and voluntary sectors, and is very active in training, consultancy and mentoring work with SMEs. Deirdre set up Northern Ireland's first Business Incubation Centre, and she also established a property management company. Deirdre is a former Board Member of NI Consumer Council, and chairs the LRA Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.  Deirdre holds an honours degree in Business with Accounting, MBA, and a Certificate in Commercial Law from Queens University. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Jill Minne

Jill Minne is Strategic HR Director for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). She leads NICS HR, an organisation providing HR services and strategic HR advice to all government Departments, to enable a well led, high performing, outcome focused and inclusive NICS.  Previously Director of Organisational Development for Belfast City Council, the largest council in Northern Ireland, she worked for the Council for over 20 years leading change management, HR, communications, diversity and inclusion and employability and skills programmes. Before she joined Belfast City Council Jill worked in HR in the private sector. She is a board member and ambassador for the Women’s Fund NI. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Daire Murphy

Daire Murphy is an Employee Representative and a Regional Casework Official with the NASUWT, The Teachers' Union.  He has previously worked in the voluntary sector, as an Employment Legal Adviser at the Law Centre (NI), representing workers and employees, and as a barrister in general practice.  Daire is a member of the Committee of the Employment Lawyers Group NI and an accredited Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Employment and Workplace Mediator. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Louise Crilly

Ms Crilly, appointed as an Independent Member to the Board, is a practising lawyer with over 20 years’ experience of legal practice in both the private and public sectors in Northern Ireland. For the last 16 years she has specialised in employment law, holding senior positions in the legal departments of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern Ireland Civil Service. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Michelle McGinley

Michelle McGinley, Employment Lawyer, EEF NI is a qualified solicitor who, prior to joining EEF in 2003 worked in private practice in both GB and NI.  Michelle taught at a London Law School before returning to Northern Ireland to work in private practice.  Michelle advises and represents Employers and Companies before both the Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals and regularly leads the response to public consultations on matters affecting the direction of employment law in Northern Ireland. She does not hold any other public appointments.

Albert Mills

Albert Mills is a trade unionist.  From 2006, he was Chairman of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union (ATGWU) Officers Negotiating Committee for Great Britain and Ireland, and played a major role during merger talks between ATGWU and Amicus to create Unite the Union.  Albert was a Board member with the Civil Service Appeal Board from 1996 to 2010, and with the NI Local Government Superannuation Committee from 2000 to 2010. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Stranmillis University College

Professor Emeritus Sir Desmond Rea OBE

Professor Rea's Experience as a Non-Executive Director (NED) includes (in Private Sector) United Diary Farmers, AIB Group (UK) and NIJobs, whilst in the Public Sector he is a former Chair of the Northern Ireland (NI) Policing Board, NI Labour Relations Agency and NI Local Government Staff Commission. He is a former Chair of four education bodies: NI Schools Examination Council, NI Schools Examination and Assessment Council (CCEA) and Methodist College.  At present he is a NED (representing NI) on the Security Industry Authority, in which capacity he chairs the HR and Remuneration Committee. In the Voluntary Sector he is a former Chairman of the Ulster Orchestra and is currently a NED of the NI Institute for The Disabled. His other experience includes editorship of First Trust Bank's Quarterly Economic Outlook & Business Review for some 25 years. He is also a CEDR Accredited Mediator. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Ken Nelson MBE

Ken has extensive involvement in enterprise development and the social economy as chief executive of Local Economic Development Company (LEDCOM) Ltd. In 2010 he was the sole Northern Ireland recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. Ken has over 20 years’ experience working as a business advisor, mentor and trainer with entrepreneurs, start-up companies, small businesses and social enterprises. He has over 17 years’ experience working as an economic development advisor to a local authority. Ken was one of the founding directors and former Chairman of Enterprise Northern Ireland. Ken is a voluntary member of the board of directors of two social enterprises. Before joining LEDCOM, Ken had a career in textiles as a textile technologist, production manager and product manager. During this period he was also responsible for research and development and marketing in relation to new product development. He has a BA in Business Studies, MBA and MSc in Human Resource Management. Ken was appointed a co-optee board member of the Northern Regional College in 2009 and reappointed in 2014 (board members are remunerated at £250 for a Governing Body Meeting; £150 for a committee meeting or event sanctioned by Chair). He was appointed as a board member of Invest NI in 2012 and reappointed in 2015 (current remuneration amount at £12,240 per annum). In December 2016 he was appointed as Chairman of InterTradeIreland. In the 2018 Queen’s New Year’s Honours, Ken was awarded an MBE for services to economic development and the community & voluntary sector.

Robert Thompson

Robert, a former student of Stranmillis, served the last 32 years of his professional career as Principal of Doagh Primary School. He is Chair of a local primary school and Governor of two large post-primary schools, in one of which, he is Chair of the Finance Committee. He has been a member of the North Eastern Education & Library Board (travel expenses only). Mr Thompson is a Council Member of the Council for the Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) (travel expenses only) and an External Adviser for Headteachers' PRSD (Performance Review and Staff Development). 

Dr Esmond Birnie

Dr Esmond Birnie is currently Senior Economist in the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre. Previously he was Chief Economist in Northern Ireland for PwC (2010-16) and during 2007-10 Ministerial Special Advisor in the Department for Employment and Learning. He was a MLA during 1998-2007. Prior to that he was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economics in Queen's University Belfast. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Richard Hanna

Richard is Director of Education and Language in the Ulster Scots Agency. Prior to that he was Director of Education Strategy in the Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) where he had responsibility for developing policy advice related to curriculum, assessment and reporting and for providing support and guidance to schools. He was responsible for implementing statutory assessment and reporting arrangements in Northern Ireland schools.  Richard held a number of management positions in CCEA which included development and support for qualifications, e-learning and the use of ICT to support teaching and learning. He led a number of critical programmes including the development of on-screen marking of examinations, system wide adaptive computer-based assessment in literacy and numeracy. His postgraduate study was focused in the use of technology to support teaching and learning.  Before joining CCEA, Richard was a post-primary teacher with 18 years' experience where he held a number of management roles. He does not hold any other public appointments.

Edgar Jardine CB

Edgar Jardine is a graduate of Queen's University Belfast where he studied Psychology at undergraduate level before returning to QUB to take a Master's degree in Developmental and Educational Psychology. Edgar is a former Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and has served at senior level in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister and in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and as Interim Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. He was awarded the CB in 2012 for public service. Since retirement from the Northern Ireland Civil Service Mr Jardine has served in a number of non-executive roles. He was appointed to the Probation Board for Northern Ireland in 2012 (current remuneration amount at £5,050) where he is the Chair of the Policy and Practice Committee. He is a member of the Public Affairs Council of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and is a Transferors' representative to the Education Authority (current remuneration amount at £8,800) where he is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. He was appointed to the Stranmillis University College Governing Body on 1 August 2014 and is Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Claire Moore

Claire Moore is currently Bursar and Secretary to the Governing Body of the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI). She is also a Member of the CAFRE Advisory Group. Claire was formerly the Director of Finance and Corporate Development for the Northern Regional College. She has worked in the Education and Training sectors for 20 years. Previously she worked in the Audit and Economic & Social Policy Departments of Deloitte. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She does not hold any other public appointments.

William Patterson

William Patterson has held various posts in the area of employment relations. From 1978-1980 he held the post of Industrial Relations Officer with British Aluminium. From 1980-1990 he held various positions in Personnel with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. From 1990-1993 he was Director (Administration and Personnel) with the Northern Health & Social Services Board (Loughside). Prior to joining the Labour Relations Agency he was employed by Belfast City Council from 1993 to 1996 as Head of Human Resources. Mr Patterson joined the Labour Relations Agency in 1996 as Chief Executive from which post he retired in 2015. Mr Patterson is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development. He does not hold any other public appointments.

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6. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office on 028 9052 9604 or email pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.


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