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HEA Board Members

Ms Siobhan Harkin
Director of Strategy and Quality Maynooth University

Siobhán is Director of Strategy and Quality at Maynooth University. Her career has focused on the development and implementation of programmes and policy for higher education and research in Ireland and EU across a number of organizations, including WIT, HEA and the Irish Universities Association. She has wide experience in the coordination of higher education initiatives and strategy across research and funding, human resources, graduate education, curriculum development, flexible learning and industry-academia partnerships. Her research is in merger and alliance policy in higher education.

Mr. Michael Horgan, Chairman

Mr. Michael Horgan was appointed Chair of the HEA in July 2016. He is also outgoing chairman of the Health and Safety Authority. He is former Chief Executive of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  Michael, holds a BSc in Computer Science, and an MA from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and a Masters in Industrial Engineering from UCD and is a Chartered Director.  He was awarded a number of honorary degrees, including a DSc from the University of Massachusetts  and Honorary Fellowship of RCSI.  He chairs the Fintech/Global Payments company TransferMate and is a non-executive director of Intuition Ltd and a number of other boards. He was previously a board member of the Rotunda Hospital, of Beaumont Hospital and a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland.

Mr. Tony Donohoe
Head of Education and Social Policy Irish Business and Employers Confederation

Mr. Tony Donohue is head of education, social and innovation policy in IBEC, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, Following a career in business journalism, he has worked with the Confederation for almost 30 years in a number of roles including publications editor and head of research and information services. He is a member of the Labour Market Council, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, the Apprenticeship Council, Business Europe Social Affairs Committee and the board of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). IBEC is the national voice of Irish business and employers, and is the umbrella body for Ireland’s leading business sector groups and associations. 

Dr. Judith Eaton
President Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington DC

Dr. Judith Eaton has been president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) since 1997.  CHEA is a nongovernmental institutional membership organization of degree-granting colleges and universities that provides national coordination of institutional and programmatic accreditation throughout the United States. CHEA , through its International Quality Group, also engages international quality issues and challenges, working with colleagues in quality assurance and higher education around the world. Dr. Eaton has also served as a college president and state chancellor and writes widely on higher education, accreditation and quality assurance. 

Professor Orla Feely
Vice President Research, Innovation and Impact University College, Dublin

Professor Orla Feely is Vice President for Research, Innovation and Impact and a Professor of Electronic Engineering at University College Dublin. She holds a BE degree from University College Dublin and MS and PhD degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, where her PhD thesis won the DJ Sakrison Memorial Prize for outstanding and innovative research. While at UC Berkeley, she also won the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award.  She leads a research group in nonlinear circuits and has been awarded research grants and prizes from a number of national, international and industry sources.

Professor Feely is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), Engineers Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering. She has served as Chair of the Irish Research Council and of the IEEE Technical Committee on Nonlinear Circuits and Systems, and as a member of a number of Editorial Boards. She is a director of the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

Professor Feely is Chair of the EU Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and is also a member of the Higher Education Authority. 

Dr. Sharon Feeney
Head of Learning Development, College of Business Dublin Institute of Technology

Dr. Sharon Feeney is Head of Learning Development, College of Business, Dublin Institute of Technology. Dr. Feeney has worked in the higher education sector since 1991 in numerous roles, including quality assurance; lecturer, and most recently as

Head of Learning Development. She has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology; an MSc (Hons) in Work and Organisational Psychology and a Doctorate from The University of Sheffield. Her doctoral thesis examined the origins and processes of institutional level quality reviews in Irish higher education institutions. Her current research interests focus on higher education policy at the institutional, national and international levels, with particular emphasis on quality systems, programme and institutional evaluation, and qualifications and awards frameworks. She is involved in research projects that focus on learning and teaching methods in higher education, higher education institution mergers, organisation design, and studies of elite formation in higher education. 

Ms Annie Hoey

Annie was elected President of USI effective from 1st July 2016. She previously served as Deputy President of USI and Vice President for Equality and Citizenship and is a graduate of UCC. 

Ms Darina Kneafsey
Managing Partner Quilly

Ms Darina Kneafsey has 25 years’ experience in senior leadership positions within international companies including Digital Equipment and Intel. She held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Trinity College Dublin for a number of years.  Darina also works with a number of both start-ups and established organisations across several sectors and technologies. She is a chartered Engineer with an Engineering degree from University College Dublin, a post graduate Diploma in System Analysis from NUI Galway. Darina holds a MBA from Trinity College Dublin.


Dr. Sinéad O’Flanagan
Senior Lecturer MIT Sloan School of Management

Dr. Sinéad O’Flanagan combines her academic expertise and corporate experience in her work on leadership practices and education. Her current research work explores how leaders learn in settings where disruption and uncertainty prevail. She uses her expertise in systems-thinking and experiential-based learning, partnering with public and private organizations, NGOs and city governments worldwide to design leadership fieldwork projects and internships. Previously based in Silicon Valley CA., and London UK, Dr. O’Flanagan held executive management positions and worked as a consultant in guiding companies through major organizational change and restructuring initiatives. 

Mr. Pól Ó’Mórain
Member Irish Export Trade Council and partner Enterprise Lab London

Mr. Pól Ó Móráin has over 20 years global experience in consulting, management and corporate venturing. He is Deputy Chair of the International Advisory Board at the University of Bradford Faculty of Management and Law; Private Sector Member of the Irish Government's Export Trade Council since 2011 (Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade); and Board Member of the Irish International Business Network (IIBN).

Previously he was 'Entrepreneur in Residence' at Xerox Venture Lab working across Xerox's international research centers, including PARC. Primarily focused on commercialising Xerox's IP and supporting and advising portfolio companies, while also working closely with colleagues to evaluate new investment opportunities.

Pól is an Alumnus of University of Bradford, Lancaster University and Toulouse Business School. He is an inventor with US and Japanese technology patents acquired by Intel Corporation in 2012.


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