New Chair of Tourism NI

Date published: 18 July 2022

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has announced the appointment of a new Chair of Tourism NI.

New Chair of Tourism NI appointed.
New Chair of Tourism NI appointed.

Ms Ellvena Graham has been appointed to serve as the Chair of Tourism NI from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2025.

The Minister commented:

“I am delighted that Ms Graham has accepted the role as Chair of Tourism NI. I am confident that she will bring significant experience to the role and play a key part in ensuring that this important sector goes from strength to strength in what promises to be an exciting time for tourism in Northern Ireland.”

This appointment is made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland. More information is available on the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland website.

Notes to editors: 

1. Ellvena Graham OBE has extensive business experience, having worked across several different sectors including Energy, Banking, Agri-Food, Business Tourism, Higher Education & Sport.  Ellvena is Chairman of Catalyst Inc, also a Non-Executive Director in Dale Farm Ltd and is the Senior Independent Governor of Queen’s University Belfast. Amongst a range of other roles, she has been Chairman of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), one of the major state-owned utilities in Ireland and a Non-Executive Director of Ulster Bank Ltd.  She has been Chairman of Belfast Waterfront & Ulster Hall since the new conference centre was established in 2016 and has played an active role in driving business tourism into Northern Ireland.  Ellvena was President of NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry for two terms and is a past Chair of the Economic Advisory Group.  Ellvena has over 30 years’ experience in Banking, most recently at Executive Management level as Head of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland, ending in 2015.  Ellvena is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Institute of Banking and a Chartered Bank Director.  She was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list, for contribution to the economy and advancement of women in Business.  She received the IOD NI Non-Executive Director of the Year award in 2021. 

2. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board, (now known as Tourism NI, its trading name), was established under the Development of the Tourist Traffic Act (NI) 1948.  Its constitution and continuation were affirmed in the Tourism (NI) Order 1992.  Tourism NI is funded by DfE under Article 7 of the Order, from monies voted by Parliament.

3. Tourism NI appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPANI).

4. Remuneration for the Chair of Tourism NI is currently £27,060 per annum with a time commitment of at least 5½ days per month.

5. These appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.  However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Ms Graham has declared no political activity.

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8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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