The cookie settings on this website are set to ‘allow all cookies’. Leaving your settings to ‘allow all cookies’ means you consent to a website remembering your preferences. If you prefer a website to not remember your preferences, you can change your settings at any time by changing the privacy settings of your browser.

how to save water

About us

Our Board

The Board of Northern Ireland Water comprises four Executive and six Non-Executive Directors and provides independent judgement on issues of strategy, performance, governance and executive appointments.

Non-Executive Board Members

Dr Len O' Hagan CBE DL.

Len is CEO of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, Chairman of the all- island Congenital Heart Disease Network Board and a non-executive director on INM PLC. Len completed two terms as Chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners in December 2014. He is a former Chairman of the MAC and has held senior positions in a number of international companies including Fitzwilton PLC, Jefferson Smurfit Group. He is also a non-executive director of the Ireland US Council.

James McCall 
Non Executive Director

James has a professional background in social work and has worked within the private and public sectors in health and social care. He is currently an Adviser to Four Seasons Healthcare in Northern Ireland and Wales. He has experience and knowledge of strategic management, leadership and employee relations. He is currently a Board member of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and he is also a member of the Governing Body of Belfast Metropolitan College.

John Rae
Non Executive Director  

John is Water Operations Director at Scottish Water and a Board Member of Scottish Water Solutions.  He is a Non Executive Director of the Water Regulations Advisory Service Ltd and was a former Non Executive Director of the United Kingdom Water Industry Research Ltd.

Trisha McAuley OBE
Non Executive Director

Trisha is an independent consumer expert. For over twenty years, she was a senior executive in UK and Scottish consumer organisations and is the former Scottish Director of Consumer Futures. She was awarded an OBE for services to consumer affairs in 2015. She has been an influential public policy leader, working effectively with parliaments, governments, regulators, business and public services at strategic level. Trisha is also an experienced Non-Executive Director with experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors. She offers significant experience of how organisations can release value through understanding consumers, customers and service users. Trisha has a track record of strategic leadership, a solid understanding of corporate governance, expertise in public and regulatory policy, and significant experience in effective stakeholder management.

Kingsley Donaldson
Non Executive Director

Kingsley has a background within the Ministry of Defence occupying senior posts in the British Army. He has considerable experience in capital works, programme management, finance, strategic management, leadership and human resources.

Peter McNaney 
Non Executive Director

Peter was the Chief Executive of Belfast City Council from 2002-2014. He has experience in finance, strategic management and corporate governance from working within the public and local government sectors. He is a qualified solicitor and was Director of Legal Services for the Council 1994-2002. He is a past Chair of Belfast Metropolitan College. He is currently Chair of the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and a member of Invest NI.

Executive Board Members

Sara Venning
Chief Executive

Responsible for the overall performance of Northern Ireland Water and the company’s continuing journey towards customer excellence.  Sara joined NI Water in April 2010 as Director of Customer Service Delivery with responsibility for water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment together with all aspects of service to customers.  With a MEng in Electrical Engineering, Sara previously worked for Northern Ireland Electricity, holding a number of senior positions.  

Paul Harper
Director of Asset Delivery

Paul, a chartered civil engineer, is a water industry expert with some 35 years’ experience, primarily in the UK. Paul’s previous role was Jacobs Water Asset Management Lead in the UK and he has worked for a range of water companies in UK and Ireland.  Paul previously worked with our asset management and engineering teams in both a consulting and contracting capacity.


Ronan Larkin
Finance & Regulation Director

Ronan is the Finance and Regulation Director and a member of the Executive Committee.  He is responsible for all financial and regulatory matters within the organisation.  Ronan has previously held commercial and financial roles in various organisations in the UK and Ireland.

Mark Ellesmere
General Counsel and Company Secretary

Mark is General Counsel and Company Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee. He is responsible for all legal matters impacting on the organisation including NIW’s in-house legal function as well as external advisors instructed on behalf of NIW.

Can't find what you're looking for? Visit the Need our Help or FAQ section