Committee members are appointed for a three-year term, renewable for a further three years, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds.
Alan began his career in the Ministry of Agriculture before joining the health service, later seconding to the Northern Ireland Office.He became Permanent Secretary of the Department for Employment and Learning, the Employment Service and the Labour Relations Agency. In 2003 he became Permanent Secretary of the Department of Social Development before returning to DEL as Permanent Secretary. He retired in 2013. He's currently a member of the Senate of Queen’s University and was made a CB in 2012.