Re-appointment of Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute

Date published: 24 January 2017

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the re-appointment of Colm McKenna as Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen has announced the re-appointment of Colm McKenna (left) as Chair of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). They are joined by Dr Sinclair Mayne, AFBI Chief Executive.

Confirming the re-appointment, Miss McIlveen said: “The role of the AFBI Board is to provide strategic direction and to promote good governance including the highest standards of financial management. I have decided to re-appoint Colm McKenna as AFBI Chair for a second term of one year from 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018.

“This decision reflects the very effective performance of Colm as chair and recognises the key role he plays in leading the Board and supporting the new chief executive through a continued period of change for AFBI. I am delighted Colm has agreed to a second term as AFBI Chair and I am confident that he will continue to provide effective leadership to the Board.”  

Notes to editors: 

  1. 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 628 staff located on six specialised, DAERA-owned sites across Northern Ireland. 
  2. The above re-appointment 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.
  3. The Chair of the AFBI Board is expected to commit in the region of 40 days per year for which remuneration of £26,248 per annum is paid.
  4. Mr McKenna has served as Chair of the AFBI Board for three years, from 1 April 2014, with the current term ending on 31 March 2017. He enjoyed a long and successful career in Financial Services with Bank of Ireland Group, taking early retirement in October 2008. His final position was Head of Marketing Services, UK, but he previously held the positions of Head of Group Marketing, NI and Head of Treasury and International Banking. 
  5. Mr. McKenna was previously Deputy Chair of Investment Belfast (Belfast City Council) and Chair of the NI Euro Preparations Forum (DETI). He is a Business Administration Graduate from Manchester Business School. Mr. McKenna is Chairman of Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care (NICON), Chairman of BBC NI Appeals Advisory Committee, a non-executive director of the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service and Chairman of Club Aontroma, a registered charity responsible for fundraising to assist Antrim GAA.
  6. In addition, Mr McKenna holds a number of other public appointments. He is Chairman of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (which attracts remuneration of £29,712 per annum), Chairman of NI Food Advisory Committee and non-executive director of the Food Standards Agency (which together attract remuneration of £21,704 per annum).
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  8. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office on 028 9052 4619 or email DAERA Press Office: Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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