Committee members are appointed for a three-year term, renewable for a further three years, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds. 

Chair Dr Katy Radford MBE

Dr Katy Radford is a social anthropologist and an Electoral Commissioner with responsibility for Northern Ireland and serves on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Previously, Katy worked at the Commission for Victims and Survivors, was Vice Chair of the Arts Council for Northern Ireland and a Member of the Commission for Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition convened by The Executive Office. She was awarded an MBE in 2011 for her work in community relations in Northern Ireland.

John McCord, Interim Director of Culture, Department for Communities

John McCord is currently the Acting Director of Culture in the Department for Communities, a post held since June 2022.  Prior to this John worked in Health, Justice, the Executive Office, Social Development and Communities across functions including HR, social security operations, Private Office and policy development; as well as spending time on secondments to the National Lottery Charities Board (now the Big Lottery Fund) and the Commission for Victims and Survivors.

Michael Wardlow, Chair of NI Transport Holding Co.

Before joining NI Transport Holding Co, Michael was Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission and CEO of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. Prior to this, his work focused on peace building and reconciliation, working in almost 40 countries. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He's also a Visiting Research Fellow at George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Liam Hannaway, Chair, Arts Council Northern Ireland

Liam is a former Chief Executive and Chief Accounting Office of a district council with experience of establishing governance arrangements, committee structures, setting direction/strategy. He has a long history of interest in the Arts: in a voluntary capacity as an actor and director with Lislea Dramatic Players and as a former Chair of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland for Ulster; in local government, he was instrumental in the development of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Sculpture Park. 

Tom Reid, Deputy Secretary, EU Future Relations - Executive Office

Prior to joining the Executive Office in 2020, Tom has worked across a range of roles in the NICS. From 2009, he worked for the Department of Infrastructure, where he spent 11 years working across sustainable transport, regional development, transport planning, public transport governance and EU funding and engagement, including the department’s preparations for EU Exit. He has also worked in the community development and voluntary sector, and started his career teaching in Higher Education.

John Greer

John Greer, Director of Economic Development, Belfast City Council

John was previously Director of the Joint Technical Secretariat for the Special EU Programmes Body and has spent time working in North America and Canada as Director for the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Partner at the Business Development Bank of Canada. He was also Director at Invest NI based in Silicon Valley, leading a team delivering foreign direct investment and trade opportunities for Northern Ireland.

Linsey Farrell, Deputy Secretary, Education Policy & Children's Services, Department of Education

Linsey Farrell has been Deputy Secretary and Head of Education Policy and Children’s Services at the Department of Education since October 2021. In this role Linsey has responsibility for a range of education policy areas including Early Years, Children and Youth; Curriculum, Qualification and Standards; Inclusion and Wellbeing; and Promoting Collaboration, Tackling Disadvantage. Prior to moving to this post, from 2003 Linsey held various posts within The Executive Office. 


Mike Brennan, Permanent Secretary, Department for the Economy

Mike currently holds the temporary position of Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy (DfE), having held a number of roles within the NI Civil Service, most recently as Deputy Secretary EU Exit Policy Group within the DfE, which he joined in 2017. Before joining DfE, Mike spent most of his civil service career in the Department of Finance in roles including Public Spending Director, Head of Central Expenditure Division and Chief Economist and Head of Strategic Policy Division.

Gren Armstrong, Relationship Manager, Invest NI

Gren began with Invest NI in 2003, following a career with HMIT, LEDU, Deliotte and the University of Ulster.  Gren is currently a Manager in the Strategy group, having previously worked in the Engineering and Food teams, Foresighting team and Regional Office management.  Gren currently leads Invest NI’s International Education activity as well as leading on engagement with City & Growth Deal partners, Matrix and the Department of International Trade. 

Gordon Brown, Queen’s University Belfast

(Bio to follow)