Non-Executive Board Members appointed to the Department for the Economy

The Department for the Economy has appointed Colm McKenna and Fiona Keenan as Non-Executive Board Members (NEBM) to the Departmental Board. 

The primary role of a NEBM is to contribute to the good governance of the organisation. Non-Executive Board Members offer constructive challenge across the organisation’s business with a view to ensuring that all aspects of strategy and delivery of policy are scrutinised for effectiveness and efficiency.

Mr McKenna’s appointment is for a period of three years effective from 14 September 2017. He will also chair the Department’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Mrs Keenan’s appointment is for a period of three years effective from 16 March 2020.

Notes to editors:

1. Mr Colm McKenna pen picture:

  • Mr McKenna has enjoyed a long and successful career in Financial Services with Bank of Ireland Group, taking early retirement in October 2008. His final position was Head of Marketing Services, UK, but he previously held the positions of Head of Group Marketing, NI and Head of Treasury and International Banking. He is a Business Administration Graduate from Manchester Business School.
  • Mr McKenna was previously Deputy Chair of Investment Belfast (Belfast City Council) and Chair of the NI Euro Preparations Forum (Department for Enterprise Trade & Investment) and has recently stepped down as Chair of the Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON).
  • Mr McKenna is Chair of the Northern Ireland Public Sector Chairs' Forum and Chair of the BBC NI Appeals Advisory Committee.
  • In addition, he holds a number of public appointments. He is Chair of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust – a short-term extension - (which attracts remuneration of £29,712 per annum), Chair of the NI Food Advisory Committee and non-executive director of the Food Standards Agency (which together attract remuneration of £21,704 per annum) and Chair of the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (which attracts remuneration of £25,730 per annum) and is due to end in March 2018.
  • Non-Executive Board Members are paid an attendance fee of £500 per day. The time commitment is approximately 17 days annually.
  • All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public. Mr McKenna has not had any political activity in the past five years.
  • The new appointee is bound not to engage in political activity which would in the opinion of the Department compromise their membership of the Board or the Department.

2. Fiona Keenan's pen picture:

  • Fiona is an accomplished Company Director and Non-Executive Director with a demonstrable track record of professional success across the private, public and voluntary sectors. She has held senior HR Management positions for Marks and Spencer plc, Vision Information Consulting and Deloitte Consulting. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Development and she is a Founding Accredited Member of the Association for Coaching and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • Fiona has over 15 years of experience of meeting the highest standards of corporate governance and risk management in private and public limited companies both in a Consultancy capacity, as a Senior Manager, a Commissioner, a Board member and an Audit and Risk Management Committee Member.
  • Fiona has also served as an Independent Assessor for the Office of Public Appointments for 7 years, an Advisor to the Board of Inspire, a Judicial Appointments Commissioner for the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission for 4 years, a Non-Executive Director for the Department of Education for 6 years, a Training Mentor for Invest NI client companies, and a professionally qualified internal verifier for the CIPD.

3. For further information, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

4. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI.

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