DAERA extends appointment of the Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)

Date published: 12 December 2018

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced a three month final extension to the term of appointment of the chair.


Colm McKenna was first appointed as Chair on 1 April 2014. The final extension to the appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice for a period up to 31 March 2019 subject to a suitable candidate being available from that date.

AFBI is a DAERA Executive Non-Departmental Public Body set up under the powers of the Agriculture (NI) Order 2004. It is empowered under the Order to undertake scientific work (research and development, testing, advice and information on scientific matters and dissemination of the results of scientific research) in the fields of agriculture, animal health and welfare, food, fisheries, forestry, the natural environment and rural development and enterprise. It employs approximately 619 staff located on six specialised, DAERA owned sites across Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

1. The above extension is made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. The appointee has not been involved in any political activity during the past five years.

2. Mr McKenna lives in Belfast, County Antrim. He has held numerous positions, both executive and non-executive at senior level relating to banking, health and social care and justice.

3. The post attracts a remuneration of £26,510 per annum

4. Currently Mr McKenna holds the following Ministerial Public Appointments:

  • Chair of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, remunerated at £29,716 pa;
  • Chair of NI Food Advisory Committee & Non-Executive Director of Food Standards Agency (Whitehall), remunerated at £21,544 pa.
  • Independent Member of NI Policing Board (December 2018) remunerated at £15,000 pa.

5. The department may take photographs and videos at announcements and events to publicise its work. Photographs, interviews, videos or other recordings may be issued to media organisations for publicity purposes or used in promotional material, including in publications, newspapers, magazines, other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including social media and the internet). Photographs and videos will also be stored on the department’s internal records management system. The department will keep the photographs and recordings for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which they have been obtained. The department’s Privacy Policy is available on our website.

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7. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or via email to pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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