Dr Len O’ Hagan CBE DL
Chairman NI Water
In addition to being Chairman of NI Water, Dr Len O’Hagan CBE was appointed Pro-Chancellor of Queen’s University, Belfast in December 2019.
Dr O’Hagan a director of INM Ltd is a leading figure in business with extensive national and international experience in the private and public sectors.
Len is chair of the All-Island Congenital Heart Disease Network, a director of the College of Anaesthesiologists and a fellow of the Institute of Directors.
His former appointments include chair of Belfast Harbour Commissioners, chair of the Metropolitan Arts Centre, chief executive of the Royal College of Physicians and a director of the Ireland-US Council.
Dr O’Hagan has also held senior roles in international companies such as Smurfit, Fitzwilton and Reed International and holds directorships in a number of private companies.
CEO NI Water
Sara Venning graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a Master of Electrical and Electronic Engineering after which she joined NIE as Customer Operations Manager. In 2010 she joined NI Water as Director of Customer Service Delivery and has been CEO since 2014. She has a passion for excellence, driving change that is transforming NI Water to becoming world class. Sara is a former President of the Institute of Water, the UK water sector industry body and current President of the NI WaterAid Committee, part of the national WaterAid charity working to transform lives by improving access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities.
SDLP Minister for Infrastructure
Nichola Mallon is the SDLP Minister for Infrastructure and MLA for North Belfast. Nichola is a graduate in Economic & Politics from Trinity College Dublin and has a Masters from Queens University Belfast in Comparative Ethnic Conflict. She was elected as a SDLP MLA for North Belfast in May 2016. Previously she represented the Oldpark DEA on Belfast City council for six years and was the Lord Mayor of Belfast in 2014. Nichola is focused on transforming lives for citizens across the North. Committed to social justice, Nichola has always sought to represent the needs of all in society especially those who have been left behind. In her Ministry Nichola has set out her ambition to better connect communities, tackle regional imbalance, transform communities through place shaping and tackle the climate crisis, socio-economic inequality and protect our society from the damage of Brexit.
Sir Tim Smit KBE
Executive Vice-Chair and Co-founder, Eden Project
Sir Tim Smit KBE is Executive Vice-Chair, and Co-founder of the award-winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Tim is a Trustee, Patron and Board Member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has received a variety of national awards including The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal (2003). In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary CBE in the New Year’s Honours List and in June 2012 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. He has received Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from a number of universities. Tim is the author of books about The Lost Gardens of Heligan (voted ‘Book of the Year’ in 1997 by the Sunday Times) and the Eden Project and he has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects.
NI Youth Climate Ambassador
Emer Rafferty is a community campaigner for the preservation of biodiversity and wildlife. Emer, a Chemistry student at Queen’s University Belfast, was recently selected as one of 13 climate ambassadors ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow. She is also a member of Ulster Wildlife’s Our Bright Future campaign, a youth ambassador for Global Action Plan and part of the Northern Ireland Climate Strategy with the Department of Education.
Dr Wendy Austin MBE is a former BBC journalist and broadcaster in BBC Northern Ireland, and former presenter of BBC Radio Ulster’s current affairs programme Talkback. She began her career in journalism at The Belfast Telegraph, leaving in 1976 to join the fledgling Downtown Radio, and later that year moving to the BBC where she was a television reporter before moving into radio presentation. From 1981 she was involved in the breakfast time Good Morning Ulster reporting and presenting, before moving to the newly created Breakfast Time on BBC TV. Other radio shows followed - Morning Extra and Wendy After Lunch, before a move to BBCR4 in London, presenting PM Woman's Hour and The Exchange. She returned to present GMU in the early 1990s.
EY Northern Ireland Consulting Partner
With 30 years experience in professional services and industry, Colm is an EY Partner responsible for EY’s consulting services in Northern Ireland. He is also part of the leadership team of EY’s consulting business across UK and Ireland with expertise spanning across Government and the private sector.
He has held positions as the EY power & utilities sector leader across Ireland and is also part of EY’s power & utilities sector leadership across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. He has deep knowledge of both the power & utilities sector as well as public sector transformation.
Colm has worked with Northern Ireland Water since 2007, and in the power & utilities sector since 1996.
Managing Director, NIE Networks
Paul Stapleton, Managing Director NIE Networks was appointed to the Board in May 2018. He is a director of Energy Networks Association Ltd, European Distribution System Operators (E.DSO), the Northern Ireland Centre for Competitiveness and a committee member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Northern Ireland. He joined ESB in 1991 where he held a number of senior management positions including General Manager of Electric Ireland, ESB Group Treasurer and Financial Controller of ESB Networks Limited. He is an IoD Chartered Director and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Director of Green Growth and Climate Action, DAERA
Kevin is the Director of Green Growth and Climate Action within DAERA leading the development of the NI Executive’s Green Growth Strategy. Kevin joined the team early in 2021 from the Strategic Investment Board where he was Head of the Energy Management Unit and a Strategic Adviser on Energy to the NI Civil Service. Prior to that he was Acquisitions, Development & Policy Manager for ESB. Kevin has held senior roles with Airtricity as Head of Onshore Development and with E-ON North America as Chief Development Officer.
Kevin has over 25 years’ experience working in the public, private and utility sectors and has spent his entire career addressing the climate challenge. Kevin holds a BSc in Environmental Planning from Queens University Belfast and an MSc in Rural Development also from QUB.