Board Members and Biographies
Mr Michael Horgan
Michael Horgan was appointed Chair of the HEA in July 2016 for a five year term. This appointment was extended in 2021 to facilitate the enactment of the new HEA Bill. Upon commencement of the HEA Act (2022), the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science appointed Michael for a further period of two years to July 2024. Michael was formerly chairman of the Health and Safety Authority (2010-2016) and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He holds a BSc in Computer Science, and an MA from the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and a Masters in Industrial Engineering from UCD and is a Chartered Director.
He was awarded a number of honorary degrees, including a DSc from the University of Massachusetts (USA) and Honorary Fellowship of the RCSI.
He has been Chairman and non-executive director of InterPay, trading as TransferMate Global Payments, since its foundation in 2010. TransferMate is a regulated (Central Bank of Ireland) fintech payments company based in Ireland but with offices throughout the world. Michael is also a non-executive Director of Mountain Productions Ltd. In July 2022 he joined and was elected Chair of Uversity, a charity established by Mr Dermot Desmond to fund mature students complete a university degree. He is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Data Protection Commission and on the Advisory Board of Intuition Ltd (an eLearning and Knowledge Management company).
He served on the Boards of a number of healthcare organizations, including as a member of Beaumont Hospital Board, the Dental Hospital Board and as Governor and Honorary Secretary of the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin. He was also a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland and a member of the Board of Governors of Penang Medical College, Malaysia and RCSI Medical University Bahrain.
In 2006, Michael was awarded the Order of Bahrain First Class, by HRH King Hamed of Bahrain.
Mr Tony Donohoe
Policy Advisor with IBEC
Irish Business and Employers Confederation
Mr Tony Donohoe is former head of education and social policy in Ibec, the business representative organisation. Following a career in business journalism, he worked in Ibec for over 35 years in a number of roles including publications editor, head of research and information services, and policy advisor. He is chair of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs and vice-chair of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Tony has served on a number of boards and advisory committees including the National Economic and Social Council, the Pensions Commission, the Apprenticeship Council, the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland and the Equality Authority. He is a University of London graduate and holds a masters in leadership studies from the University of Exeter.
Dr Judith Eaton
President Emeritus Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Washington DC
Dr Judith Eaton has been president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) since 1997. CHEA is a nongovernmental institutional membership organization of degree-granting colleges and universities that provides national coordination of institutional and programmatic accreditation throughout the United States. CHEA , through its International Quality Group, also engages international quality issues and challenges, working with colleagues in quality assurance and higher education around the world. Dr. Eaton has also served as a college president and state chancellor and writes widely on higher education, accreditation and quality assurance.
Dr Sharon Feeney
Head of Learning Development,
College of Business, Technological University, Dublin
Dr Sharon Feeney is Head of Learning Development, College of Business, Technological University, Dublin (City Campus). Dr Feeney has worked in the higher education sector since 1991 in numerous roles, including quality assurance; lecturer, and most recently as Head of Learning Development.
She has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology; an MSc (Hons) in Work and Organisational Psychology and a Doctorate from The University of Sheffield. Her doctoral thesis examined the origins and processes of institutional level quality reviews in Irish higher education institutions. Her current research interests focus on higher education policy at the institutional, national and international levels, with particular emphasis on quality systems, programme and institutional evaluation, and qualifications and awards frameworks. She is involved in research projects that focus on learning and teaching methods in higher education, higher education institution mergers, organisation design, and studies of elite formation in higher education.
Beth O’Reilly (they/them) is President of the Union of Students in Ireland for the academic year 2022-2023. Beth is a Politics and History graduate from UCC, hailing from Cork. They served as the inaugural UCC Students’ Union Commercial and Fundraising Officer and was then elected to the USI as the Vice President for Campaigns. As the first non-binary USI President, they are passionate about queer liberation and ensuring that the USI campaigns for the rights of students in an intersectional and class-conscious way. Beth is looking forward to re-engaging the student movement and advocating for a radical overhaul of the higher education system that puts student needs at the top of the agenda
Ms Darina Kneafsey
Managing Partner Quilly
Ms Darina Kneafsey has 25 years’ experience in senior leadership positions within international companies including Digital Equipment and Intel. She held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Trinity College Dublin for a number of years. Darina also works with a number of both start-ups and established organisations across several sectors and technologies. She is a chartered Engineer with an Engineering degree from University College Dublin, a post graduate Diploma in System Analysis from NUI Galway. Darina holds a MBA from Trinity College Dublin.
Professor Sinéad O’Flanagan
Prof. Sinéad O’Flanagan combines her academic expertise and corporate experience in her work on leadership practices and education. Her current research work explores how leaders learn in settings where disruption and uncertainty prevail. She uses her expertise in systems-thinking and experiential-based learning, partnering with public and private organizations, NGOs and city governments worldwide to design leadership fieldwork projects and internships. Previously based in Silicon Valley CA., and London UK, Prof. O’Flanagan held executive management positions and worked as a consultant in guiding companies through major organizational change and restructuring initiatives.
Mr Pól Ó Móráin
CEO, Carbon Collect
Mr Pól Ó Móráin is a co-founder and CEO of Carbon Collect, an Irish firm addressing global climate change. He served for ten years from 2011 as a Private Sector Member of the Irish Government’s Export Trade Council (Dept. of Foreign Affairs and Trade). Pól is a member of the International Advisory Board at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China.
Pól was previously Co-Chair of the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) and Deputy Chair of the International Advisory Board at the University of Bradford Faculty of Management and Law. Earlier he was ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ at Xerox Venture Lab working across Xerox’s Research in PARC, Grenoble (France) and Cambridge (Britain). Primarily focused on commercialising Xerox’s IP, supporting and advising portfolio companies while also working closely with colleagues to evaluate new investment opportunities.
Pól holds patents in machine learning and information processing acquired by Intel Corporation in 2012. He is an Alumnus of University of Bradford (MBA), Lancaster University (Business Analysis) and Toulouse Business School.
Dr John Wall
Head of School of Lifelong Learning and Education
Waterford Institute of Technology
Dr John Wall is currently Head of the School of Lifelong Learning and Education in WIT. He has worked in WIT since 1994 in the Schools’ of Engineering and Lifelong Learning and Education. Prior to this he worked in the construction industry both in the UK and Ireland.
Members are appointed by the Government in accordance with S. 3 & 4 of the Schedule to the HEA Act, 1971.
Higher Education Authority - Board Terms of Reference
Framework for a Code of Business Conduct
The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies required that each state body should have a written code of business conduct for members and employees. This code sets out the agreed standard of principle and practice which will inform the conduct of members of the Higher Education Authority, its Committees and Task Forces. Members are expected to voluntarily comply with this written code.
Framework for a Code of Business Conduct
HEA Standing Committees
- Audit & Risk– The Audit & Risk Committee has been established by the Authority to support them in ensuring that there are effective internal controls, governance and risk management arrangements in place in the HEA.
- Finance– The main role of the Committee is to advise and make recommendations to the Authority in relation to financial matters and the allocation and oversight of funding having regard to policy priorities set by the Authority.
- Student Engagement & Teaching and Learning– this Committee has been appointed by the Authority to advise and make recommendations concerning student engagement and teaching and learning development in the HE sector, having regard to policy priorities set by the Authority.
Framework for a Code of Business Conduct
Meeting of the HEA Board - 13th December 2022
426th Meeting - 25th October 2022
425th Meeting - 6th September 2022
423rd Meeting - 14th June 2022
422nd Meeting - 26th April 2022
421st Meeting - 8th March 2022
420th Meeting -25th January 2022
419th Meeting - 14th December 2021
418th Meeting - 19th October 2021
417th Meeting - 6th and 7th September 2021
416th Meeting - 27th July 2021
414th Meeting- 27th April 2021
413th Meeting - 9th March 2021
412nd Meeting - 28th January 2021
411th Meeting - 8th December 2020
Report of Special Meeting on HEA Strategy held on 7 th December 2020
410th Meeting - 20th October 2020
Report of Special Meeting on reform of HEA legislation held on 6th October 2020
409th Meeting - 8th September 2020
406th Meeting - 28th April 2020
405th Meeting - 3rd March 2020
404th Meeting - 28th January 2020
403rd Meeting - 17 December 2019
402nd Meeting - 03 November 2019
401st Meeting - 03 September 2019
Special Meeting - 19th August 2019
400th Meeting - 02nd July 2019
Special Meeting - 27th May 2019
398th Meeting - 29th April 2019
397th Meeting - 26th March 2019
396th Meeting - 29th January 2019
395th Meeting - 11th December 2018
394th Meeting - 6th November 2018
393rd Meeting - 25th September 2018
392nd Meeting - 26th June 2018
390th Meeting - 24th April 2018
389th Meeting - 27th March 2018
388th Meeting - 30th January 2018
387th Meeting - 28th November 2017
386th Meeting - 28th September 2017
385th Meeting - 27th June 2017
383rd Meeting - 28th March 2017
382nd Meeting - 24th January 2017
381st Meeting - 22nd November 2016
380th Meeting - 27th September 2016
379th Meeting - 26th July 2016
Special Meeting - 5th July 2016
Special Meeting - 22nd June 2016
Special Meeting - 17th May 2016
Special Meeting - 16th February 2016
377th Meeting - 23rd March 2016
Special Meeting - 26th January 2016
376th Meeting - 19th January 2016
375th Meeting - 24th November 2015
374th Meeting - 06th October 2015
373rd Meeting - 28th July 2015
371st Meeting - 24th March 2015
370th Meeting - 27th January 2015
369th Meeting - 25th November 2014
Special Meeting - 10th October 2014
368th Meeting - 30th September 2014
367th Meeting - 22nd July 2014
365th Meeting - 24th March 2014