Short biographies for each of the Expert Panel members are provided below.
Ms Brid Horan, Chair
Brid Horan is the previous Deputy Chief Executive of ESB, having spent eight years on the ESB Executive Team with responsibilities including the Group’s retail business and internal Group services.
In June 2014, Brid was appointed by the Minister for Education to the Expert Group to examine funding options for Higher Education which reported in early 2016. She has served on the DCU Governing Authority since September 2014 and chairs the DCU Audit Committee.
Brid is Chair of ISAX (Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange), a member of TLAC (Top Level Appointments Committee), Director of Chamber Choir Ireland and of Dublin Theatre Festival and Council member of Irish Management Institute. She has served as an Independent Non-executive Director of FBD Holdings plc (2011-2016), a member of Board of IDA (1996 – 2006) and as a Commissioner of National Pensions Reserve Fund (2001 – 2009). She was a member of the 2014 Arts Council Strategic Review Group. Prior to joining ESB as Group Pensions Manager in 1997, Brid headed KPMG Pension & Actuarial Consulting.
Brid is a Chartered Director and Fellow Institute of Directors, an Actuary and Fellow Irish Institute of Pension Management.
Professor Philip John Gummett CBE
Professor Philip Gummett’s first degree was in Chemistry. He moved into the newly emerging field of science and technology policy studies at Manchester University, UK, heading both the Department of Science and Technology Policy and later the Department of Government, and becoming a Professor of Government and Technology Policy. He taught a range of undergraduate programmes and developed graduate and research specialisms in UK science policy and in relations between defence and civil technologies, on which he led a 12 nation, mainly European, research group, and published widely. His best known academic work is the monograph Scientists in Whitehall (Manchester University Press, 1980).
Professor Gummett was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor at Manchester, before moving to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, of which he was chief executive from 2003 until retiring in 2012. A key agenda item during that period was restructuring the Welsh university system, where a series of high-profile mergers of higher education institutions resulted in reducing the initial thirteen institutions to eight. He is a trustee of JISC, the body that provides digital infrastructure, resources and advice across all UK universities and colleges, and is a consultant on higher education. Professor Gummett also has knowledge of the higher education landscape and policy in Ireland and he was Expert Secretary for a 2014 report to the Higher Education Authority on the Technological University for Dublin (TU4) Application.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond DL, FBA, FRSE, FAcSS
Sir Ian is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, an appointment he has held since 1 April 2010. He was previously Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council. He was also Chair of the Research Councils UK Executive Group (2004-2009) the umbrella body that represents all seven UK Research Councils. Before joining the ESRC, Sir Ian was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton, where he had been for most of his career.
In his research career, Sir Ian’s work crossed many disciplinary boundaries, most notably working in the areas of population and health, both in the developed and less developed world. His research has involved collaboration with many government departments including the Office for National Statistics, the Department for International Development and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Sir Ian has served as Chair of British Universities and Colleges Sport, Chair of the Universities UK Research Policy Network Committee, Chair of the Universities UK Group on Efficiency and Chair of the Higher Education Review for Wales. In this latter role he set out a clear pathway to reform of the Welsh higher education funding model which is currently being implemented by the Welsh Government. Sir Ian was elected to the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 1999, is a Fellow of the British Academy (2005), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2009) and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Cardiff and Glasgow.
Ms Mary Kerr
Mary Kerr is the former Deputy Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, where she worked for over 30 years overseeing the Irish higher education system and its funding. During her period of office she managed the development and implementation of the funding allocation model for higher education institutions. She was also involved in a number of international projects focusing on the review and development of funding models. Her roles within the HEA brought her into regular contact with all of the universities, institutes of technology and specialist colleges and she has an in-depth knowledge of their missions, operations and impacts.