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

Alan Shannon

Alan Shannon (Chair), Member of Senate at Queen’s University

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.

John McGrillen - Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Northern Ireland

John took up his post as CEO of Tourism NI on 1 July 2015. John was previously Director of Development at Belfast City Council and Chief Executive of Down District Council. During his early career John worked for Short Brothers and the Industrial Development Board, the forerunner to Invest NI, before being appointed Chief Executive of NI-CO, a Belfast based international development consultancy.

Andrew McCormick

Andrew McCormick - Director General International Relations, The Executive Office

Andrew began his career in the NI Civil Service in the Department of Finance and Personnel. He became Permanent Secretary of Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, and Chief Executive of Health and Social Care in 2005, before moving to Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment as Permanent Secretary in 2014. He remained as Permanent Secretary with Department for the Economy until 2018 when he was appointed Director General, International Relations in the Executive Office.

Professor Ian Montgomery - Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), Ulster University

Ian joined the University as an Associate Lecturer in Design, and later became Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment, and Director of the Research Institute for Art and Design. Ian is a member of Council of the Arts Council of NI and a Management Board member of the Higher Education Academy's Art Design and Media Subject Centre. He is also part of the Executive Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Fiona Hepper, Deputy Secretary for Education Policy and Children’s Services, Department of Education

Fiona has been Deputy Secretary for Education Policy and Children’s Services at the Department of Education since 2019. She has responsibility for a range of education policy areas including Youth and Early Years Services, Curriculum, Qualification and Standards, Inclusion and Wellbeing and Collaborative Education and Practice, plus the Education Transformation agenda. Prior to this, Fiona held the post of Deputy Secretary for Resources, Reform and Infrastructure in the Department of Education.

Maeve Walls, Director of Culture, Department for Communities

Maeve has been Director of Culture in the Department for Communities since 2018 and has policy and sponsorship responsibilities for Arts, Languages, Museums, Libraries and Architecture. Prior to this, she held a number of Senior Civil Service posts as Director of the Voluntary and Community Unit, Director of HR and Estates and Director of Working Age Services. Meave worked in Washington DC as Deputy Director in the Northern Ireland Bureau and is a past recipient of a NICS Fulbright Fellowship.

Michael Wardlow, Chief Commissioner, Equality Commission

Before joining the Commission, Michael was CEO of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. Prior to this his main work experience, both paid and voluntary, was in the area of peace building and reconciliation, working in almost 40 countries. Michael 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. 

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.

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.