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.

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, 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.

Professor Terri Scott, PVC Academic Operations and Portfolio Development, Ulster University

Prof Terri Scott took up her current post in 2021, after previously acting as Principal & CEO at the Northern Regional College (NRC). At NRC, Terri led an ambitious strategy, delivering improvements in academic quality and financial performance. Under her leadership, the vision to consolidate provision across 4 campuses progressed, securing £85m of investment from the Department for the Economy for 2 new campuses. Prior to this, she acted as President of the Institute of Technology in Sligo.

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.