The Board


Ruairí Quinn

Ruairí Quinn was appointed Chairperson of the Institute of International and European Affairs in January 2017. Mr Quinn was a public representative from 1974 until his retirement from Dáil Éireann in 2016. He has broad political experience, having served as a Minister in six different Departments, including Minister for Finance (1994-1997) and Minister for Education and Skills (2011-2014). As Minister for Finance, he served as President of the Ecofin Council of the European Union in 1996, and worked to accelerate the launch of the European Single Currency. When leaving office in 1997 he handed over a surplus, the first in about 50 years, to qualify Ireland for the single currency. In 1997, he was elected to lead the Labour Party. As Leader, he developed a strong policy platform, in which he promoted closer European integration. In 2002, he retired as Leader, after choosing not to seek re-election. He is currently the Vice-President and Treasurer of the Party of European Socialists and has also recently joined the Trinity Business School as an adjunct Professor. He is a former Chairperson of the European Movement Ireland and the Holocaust Educational Trust. His political memoir, Straight Left – A Journey in Politics, was published in 2005. Before entering public life, Ruairí Quinn was an architect and town planner.

Brendan Butler

Brendan Butler is currently Chairman of Turas Nua  and Deputy Chair of the  Press Council of Ireland. Previously  he was Chairman of Startup Ireland. Over a 40 year career Brendan completed 25 years with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC)  having previously worked in the public sector for 15 years. Brendan spent 14 years as a member of IBEC’s Senior Management Team and held a number of responsibilities including Director of the Small Firms Association (SFA), IBEC’s Director of Social Policy and Director of Enterprise and in his final role with IBEC as Director of Policy and International Affairs. Brendan was involved in the negotiations for the various social partnership programmes first introduced in Ireland in 1987. Brendan has been a member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and the National Competitiveness Council (NCC).  He represented IBEC in Business Europe, the IOE, ILO and BIAC. Brendan holds a B.Comm from University College Dublin and an M.Sc. (Economics) from Trinity College Dublin. Brendan was appointed Treasurer of the IIEA in 2014.

Marie Sinnott

Marie Sinnott was appointed Company Secretary of ESB in August 2019. Prior to this she was ESB’s Group Head of Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management. Marie joined ESB in 1989 as part of their Business Graduate Development Programme and has held a number of senior management roles in the Group. A UCD commerce graduate, she holds a Masters in Economic Policy Studies from TCD and a Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD (Smurfit). Marie is an external member of DCU’s Governing Authority Risk Management Committee. Marie was appointed as IIEA Company Secretary in October 2019.

Terence O’Rourke

Terence is a Chartered Accountant from Inniskeen, Co Monaghan and was educated at Castleknock College and University College Dublin. He started his career with KPMG in 1975, became a partner in 1988 and was Managing Partner KPMG Ireland from 2006 up to his retirement in April 2013. During his time in KPMG Terence worked in KPMG  Boston (1979-1981), was President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (2004-2005) and a member of the Global Board, EMA Board and Global Executive Team of KPMG International (2007-2013). Terence O’Rourke was appointed to the Board of the IIEA in 2013. His other directorships include (Chairperson) Enterprise Ireland,  The Irish Times Ltd and Hibernia Reit plc. Terence is also a board  member of the Irish Management Institute, the DCU Governing Authority and the Dublin Theatre Festival and also sits on the board of The Dublin City Gallery- The Hugh Lane.

Catherine Day

Catherine Day was Secretary-General of the European Commission for 10 years between 2005 and 2015. She was the second Irish person to hold that post. Catherine Day was born in Dublin in 1954 and educated at Mount Anville convent-school. She has a BA in Economics and an MA in International Trade and Economic Integration from University College Dublin. She joined the European Commission in 1979, having worked in the Investment Bank of Ireland in 1974 and at the Confederation of Irish Industry. In 1982 she joined the cabinet of Commissioner Richard Burke and then worked with Competition Commissioner, Peter Sutherland, following which she served as deputy Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Leon Brittan, who was responsible for Competition policy and later for External Economic Affairs and Trade Policy. Ms Day next became Director in the Directorate General for External Relations where she was deeply involved in the enlargement of the EU. In 2002 she was appointed deputy Director General in External Relations, headed by Commissioner Chris Patten, dealing with the Balkans, Russia and the CIS. In 2002, she was promoted to Director General of the Directorate General for the Environment. She crowned her stellar career by assuming the post of Secretary General of the European Commission in November 2005, a post which she held for 10 years between 2005 and 2015. She retired in 2015 having served under two European Commission Presidents, José Manuel Barroso and Jean Claude Juncker. She currently acts as special adviser to Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker. Catherine was appointed to the Board in November 2016.

Pat Cox

Pat Cox has worked as an academic economist, a broadcaster and a politician and today is involved in a mixed portfolio of activities. He was President of the European Parliament from 2002-2004. He worked as a current affairs reporter/presenter with RTE from 1982-1986 and was appointed as General Secretary of the newly formed Progressive democrats in 1986. He was elected as MEP for the Munster constituency from 1989-2004 and was president of the ELDR Group in the European Parliament prior to his election as Parliament president. Currently he is President of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe, Switzerland; a member of the Board of Trustees, Friends of Europe, Belgium; Leader of Needs Assessment Mission on parliamentary reform for the European Parliament and the Verkhovna Rada, Kiev, Ukraine; European Coordinator for the Scandinavian-Mediterranean TEN T Core Network (transport) Corridor, EU. He also is President of the Alliance Française, Dublin; Honorary Vice President of the European Movement Ireland; Member of the Board Third Age Foundation, Ireland and in addition to being appointed to the Board of the IIEA in November 2016 is a Senior Fellow of the IIEA. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Michelin, France; the European Advisory Council Liberty Global, Netherlands; a member of Yalta European Strategy (YES), Ukraine; and Chairperson of the Public Interest Committee, KPMG, Ireland. He has received Honorary Doctorates from Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland, the University of Limerick, the American University Ireland and the Open University. He is a Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur, France and has been awarded national honours by Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Poland and Romania. As MEP his work was recognised by the award of the European Voice MEP of the Year 2001, Brussels; the European Movement’s Irish European of the year, 2002; the European Voice Campaigner of the Year 2003, Brussels; the Polish Business Oscar, 2003; the Inaugural AmCham EU Transatlantic Business Award, 2004 and for his contribution to EU enlargement he was awarded Germany’s prestigious Charlemagne Prize, Aachen, 2004.

Marie Cross

Marie Cross is a retired member of the Department of Foreign Affairs. In the course of her career she served in posts in New York, Washington Brussels and Bonn. She was ambassador to the Czech Republic and to Ukraine, and to the Political and Security Committee of the EU. At Headquarters, she served variously as Director General for Corporate Services , Promoting Ireland Abroad, Strategic Planning and Consular Services, including responsibility for the Irish Abroad, the Global Irish Network and the Global Irish Forum. Outside of the Department she was Executive Director for the first stage of the renovation of the Irish College in Paris.  She is Chair of the Future of Europe Group of the IIEA and Co- Chair of the Security Group. She holds a degree in science from UCD. Marie was appointed to the Board in 2013 and is also Senior Fellow of the IIEA.

Peter McLoone

A native of Ballyshannon Co. Donegal, Peter was a psychiatric nurse for 10 years before he took up a career as a full time Trade Union Official in 1979.  He was General Secretary of the IMPACT Trade Union from 1995 until his retirement in July 2010.  He was a member of the ICTU Executive Council and its General Purposes Committee for 17 years and was elected Vice President in 2003 and served as President of Congress from 2005 to 2007.  He was also Chairperson of ICTU’s influential Public Service Committee for 17 years. In these roles he gained extensive experience of national negotiations with Employer Bodies on a wide range of issues and led the Trade Union side in negotiations with Government on pay and the Governments reform, change and modernisation programmes. He is currently a member of the Boards of the Labour Relations Commission, the National College of Ireland, the Irish Times Trust and the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. He is also a lay member of the Law Society Complaints and Clients Relations Committee. He was appointed to the Board in 2014.

David Carson

David Carson is a Chartered Accountant. He was a corporate finance partner in Deloitte specialising in Restructuring, Insolvency and Forensic. He was on the Deloitte EMEA Executive for both Restructuring and Forensic. David was Head of Public Policy in Deloitte Ireland. He served on the Council of Dublin Chamber of Commerce 2000- 2008 and was a member of the Executive Committee for 6 years. David was a Board Member of Chambers Ireland and was on the adjudicating panel of The Irish Times Living Dublin Awards. David is a graduate in law from Queen’s University Belfast and holds a post Graduate Diploma in Accounting from DCU. David was appointed to the Board of the IIEA in January 2020.

Ursula Quill

Ursula Quill was a member of the Emerging Voices Group, which ran at the Institute from 2018-2020 and contributed to The Future of Europe Anthology. She is a doctoral student at the School of Law in Trinity College with a Provost’s PhD Award for the project “Citizen-Led Constitutional Reform: Assessing the Promise of Deliberative Democracy”. She is also undergoing the Barrister-at-Law Degree at the King’s Inns. A Trinity graduate of English and Irish, she holds a Diploma in Legal Studies from the King’s Inns and a Higher Diploma in Psychology from UCD. Ursula worked for four years with Senator Ivana Bacik and during that time gained valuable experience from the referendum to repeal the eighth amendment as well as the Vótáil100 programme celebrating 100 years of women’s suffrage. She worked with Senator Sean Barrett on the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry in 2014. Ursula was Director of Hist250 and is a Vice-President of the College Historical Society. .

David Gunning

David Gunning has more than 25 years’ of experience leading dynamic, technology-based high-growth businesses in the global Information & Communications Technology sector including Tellabs, Inc., Massachusetts-based start-up Integral Access, Inc. and Hewlett Packard.  He brings a truly global perspective having lived and worked in Ireland, UK, Finland and USA.  After returning to Ireland he was appointed CEO at Coillte Teoranta. He is the founder and senior partner at KingramRed Ltd., a specialist management consultancy focused on digital transformation.  He is a member of the Board of the global NGO Habitat for Humanity (Ireland). David was appointed to the Board in 2016.

John Bruton

John Bruton served as Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997. He was born in 1947 and graduated from University College Dublin in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and politics. He was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1972. He holds Honorary Degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland, the University of Missouri, and the National University of Ireland. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1969 at the age of 22 as a member of the Fine Gael Party, joining its front bench in 1972, becoming Party Leader in 1990, and leading it into government in 1994. He served as Minister for Finance (1981-1982 and 1986-1987), Minister for Industry & Energy (1982-1983), Minister for Industry, Trade, Commerce & Tourism (1983-1986) and was a Junior Minister from 1973-1977. As Taoiseach he was deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. While Taoiseach, he presided over the successful Irish EU Presidency in 1996 and and chaired the European Council meeting that year which finalised the Stability and Growth Pact underpinning Economic and Monetary Union and the management of the Euro. He was appointed EU Ambassador to the United States in October 2004, and served for five years. He was a member of the Praesidium of the Convention that drafted the proposed European Constitution, signed in Rome on October 29, 2004, which is the base for the Lisbon Treaty now in force. He joined the Board in November 2016.

Terry Neill

Terry Neill is a Director of UBM plc, now the world’s largest events company. In his 30 year career with Accenture/Andersen Consulting he was based in Dublin, Chicago and London. He was Chairperson of Andersen Worldwide and Accenture; and was worldwide managing partner of the Change Management Practice. He returned to Ireland in 2005 and was a Director of Bank of Ireland Group and CRH plc. He is chairperson of the National Council of Wexford Festival Opera. He is a maths/physics graduate of Trinity. He was for 13 years a Governor of London Business School, where he had also gained his MBA. He is a member of both the Board of Trinity Foundation and the Trinity Arts & Humanities Governance Board.  He was chairperson of Co-operation Ireland (GB) and  Camerata Ireland, Barry Douglas’s all island chamber orchestra.

Sheila Nunan

Sheila Nunan has extensive leadership experience in civil society organisations . She was General Secretary of INTO, the largest teaching union on the island of Ireland representing members North and South between 2009-2019, the first woman to hold the post. Prior to this Sheila served as Deputy General Secretary and President of INTO.  Between 2017-2019 she was President of ICTU.  She was vice-chair of ICTU’s Public Service Committee and part of the negotiating team on all national Public Service Pay Agreements between 2010-2019. Sheila is a member of the ESIF(2021-2027) partnership committee. She serves on the Governing Body of Maynooth University and the National College of Ireland. Sheila is also a Director and Chair of Comhar Linn INTO Credit Union. As a former teacher and Principal she worked on intercultural projects, Traveller education projects,  was a member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), and the 2017-18 Task Force of Gender Equality in Higher Education.  She was secretary to the British and Irish group of teacher unions and a member of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE). Sheila is a graduate of UCD and St. Patricks College Drumcondra.

Brian Cowen

Brian Cowen served as Taoiseach from 2008 to 2011. He was born in Tullamore, Co Offaly in 1960 and graduated from University College Dublin in 1980 with the degree of Bachelor of Common Law (BCL) and subsequently qualified in 1983 as a solicitor. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 1984 at the age of 24 and retained his seat at each subsequent election until his retirement in 2011. He had a long Ministerial career starting as Minister for Labour in 1992 and going on to server as Minister for Energy (1993), Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications (1993–94), Minister for Health (1997–2000), Minister for Foreign Affairs (2000–04), Minister for Finance (2004–08). He became Tánaiste (Deputy Taoiseach) in 2007. He retired as Taoiseach in 2011. During Ireland’s Presidency of the EU in 2004 he played a key role as Foreign Minister in securing the expansion of the Union to include ten new Member States, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe. He was also extensively involved in negotiations on the Northern Ireland peace process and on international affairs at the UN when Ireland became a member of the Security Council. Brian Cowen was appointed to the Board in November 2016.

Maeve Carton

Maeve Carton is Chairperson of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) and is a former Director of CRH where she held a number of senior roles, including Group Transformation Director and Finance Director. Prior to joining CRH, she worked for a number of years as a chartered accountant in an international accountancy practice.  Maeve is a member of the Professional Standards Board of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Dr Loretta O’Sullivan

Dr Loretta O’Sullivan is Group Chief Economist at Bank of Ireland. She heads up the Economic Research Unit and is responsible for economic analysis, including commentary, forecasts and research. Loretta joined BOI from the Central Bank of Ireland, where she held the position of Senior Economist within the Monetary Policy & International Relations Division. Prior to that she was a Senior Economist at the Department of Finance, during which time she was seconded for two years to the European Commission’s Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate in Brussels. She holds a Ph.D in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, an MA in Policy, Management and Government from the University of York, and a BA (Mod) in Economics and Social Studies from Trinity College Dublin.