Dr Michael Wardlow (Chief Commissioner)
Dr Wardlow is the Chief Commissioner for the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, a part-time public appointment he has held since March 2012. Michael is a self employed consultant, a role he took up in September 2009 after almost 15 years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.
Prior to this, following 7 years in commerce, the majority of his work experience, both paid and in a voluntary capacity, has been in the area of peace building and reconciliation, focusing on youth work and leadership training.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Theology from Queens University Belfast, as well as a Doctorate in Education, also from Queens.
Professionally, he is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
He is married with two children and lives in Belfast.
Geraldine McGahey (Deputy Chief Commissioner)
Former Chief Executive of Larne Borough Council, and SOLACE gender champion. She is currently an Equality Commissioner and a Parades Commissioner.
Currently head of NSPCC in Northern Ireland, with a career based in HR across a variety of organisations and sectors.
Retired head teacher with extensive experience in disability rights. Advocate for Guide Dogs for the Blind and ambassador for Disability NI. She was awarded an MBE in 2018 for services to people with a disability.
Eileen Chan-Hu is Executive Director of CRAICNI (Cultivate Respect, Appreciate Inclusion in Communities in Northern Ireland) and former Chief Executive of the Chinese Welfare Association in Northern Ireland. She has over 20 years of experience of working in the community and voluntary sector. Eileen has led many initiatives and participated in committees focusing on social inclusion and policy development working in the areas such as minority ethnic communities and the wider community, community safety, anti-racism, education, language, health, human trafficking, children and young people and cultural awareness. Eileen stood at the local council elections in 2014 as a NI21 candidate.
Former Chief Executive of Craigavon Borough Council and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council. She is currently Vice Chair of Eirgrid and a member of the Probation Board.
Dr Deborah Donnelly
Dr Deborah Donnelly is Director of her own consultancy firm Debbie Donnelly Independent Ltd, specialising in governance, corporate strategy, performance review, organisational change, equality, policy development and review, and social and criminological research. Prior to this she was Deputy Chief Executive of the NI Policing Board (2006-2011).
Duane Farrell has been working in the Community and Voluntary sector in Northern Ireland for nearly 20 years. During that time, he has worked within the LGB&T community, as well as with older people and children and young people. In these roles, he has developed services, led campaigns and worked to influence legislation and policy. Currently, he is Charity Director for Age NI where he is responsible for the organization's chartable services, community development and policy and influencing activity. He is also Chairperson of the Rainbow Project and a Trustee of Engage with Age.
Helen Ferguson has over 35 years’ experience in the community and voluntary sector. She was born in Belfast, educated at QUB and has worked in Liverpool, Buckinghamshire and Greater Manchester. She is currently employed as part-time Policy and Campaigns Officer with the National Deaf Children’s Society. She was the Director of Carers Northern Ireland from 1994-2015. Helen has recently been appointed as a Commissioner with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.
Hazel Francey spent most of her working life with Belfast City Council and, until her retirement, led its Good Relations Unit where she had responsibility for equality, community relations, race relations and diversity. Her previous roles within the City Council included community development, policy development, corporate planning and public consultation. Hazel is a former Board member of the Community Relations Council and is currently Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Museums NI. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of two local schools, Wellington College Belfast and Rosetta Primary. She is a Director on the Board of the Artsekta organisation and of the Ullans Academy. She brings equality and social inclusion experience and management skills to the body. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.
Jarlath Kearney is a strategy advisor. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Arts Council NI. He previously served as Special Advisor to the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure (2012-14), and as a Ministerial Policy Advisor in the NI Assembly (2007-11). Currently a regular columnist with The Irish News, Jarlath is also a former Board Member of the Community Relations Council and a former Chief Political Correspondent at the Belfast Media Group. He holds Master's degrees in Journalism Studies and in Human Rights Law, respectively. Jarlath is a former Sinn Fein party member.
Chief Executive of Cedar Foundation, a charity supporting children, young people and adults with disabilities.
Joseph McVey OBE
Joseph McVey is a managing partner of Blueprint Development Consultancy Ltd established in 1999. The company works primarily with public and third sector clients specializing in organisational reviews, strategic planning and consultation. He is also currently the Chair of Volunteer Now, the Community Arts Partnership, a Trustee of the Building Change Trust and a Board member of the Golden Thread Gallery. Joe was awarded an OBE for services to the Voluntary Sector in 2010.
Robin Mullan until March 2016 was the Chief Executive of Peamount Healthcare, Newcastle Co Dublin. He is a Partner in the Mullan Art Gallery and previously was the Northern Ireland Director of the National Lottery Charities Board, Chief Executive of the Western Isles Health Board in Scotland and Chief Executive of Disability Action in Northern Ireland. Currently he is a non executive Director of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority. He was formerly a member of the Equality Commission (1999-2003) and the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights (1996-1998).
Chief Executive of a Victoria Housing Estates (VHE). She is a former Northern Ireland Programme Director for Marie Stopes and previously served as an MLA and leader of the PUP.
Social anthropologist currently employed at the Institute for Conflict Research. Vice Chair of Arts Council of Northern Ireland, member of the Commission for Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition and member of the Executive Council of the Northern Ireland Jewish Community.