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Our structure

Biographies and organisation chart
 

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is governed by a board of Commissioners consisting of a Chief Commissioner, a Deputy Chief Commissioner and up to eighteen other Commissioners all appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

As public office-holders, Commissioners' behaviour and actions must be governed by the principles set out in this Code of Conduct (pdf)

Commissioners set the overall strategic direction for the organisation, set the policy framework and oversee the delivery of the planned work.  With the exception of the Chief Commissioner all Commissioner are part time and are appointed for a three year term.

The current Commissioners are:
 

Dr Michael Wardlow (Chief Commissioner)

Dr Michael Wardlow

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.
 

 

Rev Dr Lesley Carroll (Deputy Chief Commissioner)

Lesley Caroll


Rev Dr Lesley Carroll works with Victim Support NI as the Voice of the Victim Manager. Currently she is also a member of the Roe House assessment team within Maghaberry prison and is a member of the Shared City Partnership within Belfast City Council. Lesley worked as a Presbyterian minister in congregations in North Belfast for 25 years, was a member of the Forum for Victims and Survivors (2012-2014) as well as a member of a The Consultative Group on Dealing with the Past.

 

Eileen Chan-Hu

Eileen Chan-Hu

 

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.

 

Dr Deborah Donnelly

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

Duane Farrell

 

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

Helen Ferguson

 

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

Hazel Francey
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.
 

William Gamble

William Gamble
Billy Gamble is a private consultant specialising in conflict transformation and the economy. He was a Senior Civil Servant up to 2007 and had responsibility for policy in the areas of equality, good relations, regional development, victims and survivors and children and young people. Billy was previously the Private Secretary to the then Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon post Good Friday Agreement (1998-2001), Political First Secretary in HME Dublin, and Head of Good Relations & Reconciliation Division, OFMDFM (2004-2007). He is currently a Board member for the International Fund for Ireland and the Gerry Rogan Trust and was previously a Board member of the Community Relations Council.
 

Judith Gillespie

Judith Gillespie
Judith Gillespie retired as Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service for Northern Ireland in 2014. She had served as Deputy Chief Constable from 2009-2014 and prior to her retirement had been a serving Police Officer since 1982. In addition to her role as a Visiting Professor at University of Ulster, she is a member of the Probation Board and was recently appointed to the newly constituted Garda Policing Authority. She also works as an Independent Policing and Leadership Adviser, both locally and internationally.
 

Tom Hartley

Tom Hartley
Tom Hartley was formerly a Belfast City Councillor from 1993-2013 and was Lord Mayor of Belfast (2008-2009). Although now retired from active politics he has declared that he is still a member of Sinn Fein.
 

Jarlath Kearney

Jarlath Kearney

 

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.

 

Geraldine McGahey

Geraldine McGahey
Geraldine McGahey was Chief Executive of Larne Borough Council; a position she stepped down from on 1 April 2015 when the new district councils formed. She has over 25 years’ experience of working in local government and was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Years Honours for services to Local Government. Geraldine is also a Non-Executive Director of the Northern Health & Social Care Trust.
 

Joseph McVey OBE

Joseph McVey
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

Robin Mullan
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).
 

David Rose

David Rose
David Rose is an independent consultant and trainer specialising in transitioning from conflict to peace. He has delivered programmes in numerous conflict regions including Afghanistan (2012-14), Nepal (2012/13), Algeria (2014), Bahrain (2014), Cambodia (2012), Indonesia (2007/8), West Bank/Gaza (2004/5), Lebanon (2005), Jordan (2005), and Bosnia (2003). He is also a former Board member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and Probation Board for Northern Ireland. David was formerly deputy leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (2002-2006).
 
 

 

Staff in the Commission

 

The Equality Commission's senior management team is led by Chief Executive Dr Evelyn Collins CBE (pdf) view the Commission's organisation chart (pdf)

 
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