Gráinne Clarke is a graduate of both Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. She holds a BA Hons in Politics and an MSc in Communication, Advertising and Public Relations.
Gráinne is Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager at the UK section of Amnesty International where she is responsible for developing and managing AIUK’s campaign activity, including public affairs, policy and legislative work, public relations and media in Northern Ireland. She is a spokesperson for the organisation and regularly provides media commentary on a range of human rights issues. Gráinne also manages Amnesty’s strategic litigation on matters including the legacy of the past and women’s healthcare.
Gráinne has worked on a range of local, national and international issues. Her experience spans the Human Rights, Social Economy, Education, Community and Voluntary sectors.
Outside of Amnesty, Gráinne is a former Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Government Affairs Group and has sat on several management boards where she advised on communications and political advocacy.
David Cooke was born and educated in Belfast. He studied law at Dublin University before taking his professional exams in Manchester and completing his articles in London. David spent the best part of his legal career in private practice with a short spell in industry at 3i. He has been a partner with both Maclay Murray and Spens LLP and Watson Farley and Williams LLP. David’s practice was mainstream corporate finance with a particular emphasis on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) where his clients were drawn from a number of industry sectors and were both UK and internationally based. He retired from private practice at the end of 2012.
David’s early charity fundraising work began with Co-operation Ireland. Then, in June 2002, he became Chairman of the IEF’s London Fundraising Committee and was a founder member of the IEF’s Campaign Council when it was formed in November 2008.
David was Chair of the Judgment Implementation Group which monitored the Department of Education’s compliance with its statutory obligations to the development of integrated education. The Group maintained a useful dialogue with the Department of Education and between a broad range of interested parties within education. David now represents the IEF on the Department of Education’s Integrated Education Stakeholder Group.
Roderick Downer was born in County Down, educated in Campbell College and qualified as a chartered surveyor (FRICS), having studied with the College of Estate Management (University of Reading). He finished his long career in commercial estate agency as a director of Colliers International in Dublin and a member of the Colliers EMEA – (Europe, Middle East and Africa) board. This involved considerable work and travel internationally. Much of his time was acting for numerous multi-national companies wishing to establish in Ireland and thus gain a foothold in Europe.
For five years he chaired the disciplinary committee of the Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute which dealt with a wide range of complaints, either from the public or from other members. Separately, he was often appointed, mainly by the Law Society, as arbitrator, to settle property related disputes.
Now retired, he is living back in County Down with his wife Nuala and their son. His interests include fishing, painting and cross-community initiatives. He is a Governor of Cedar Integrated Primary School, Crossgar and Chairman of Lecale and Downe Historical Society.
Richard Lemon OBE (Chair)
Richard Lemon retired from the civil service in November 2016 after 42 years, 35 of which were in the Northern Ireland Office. He has a broad range of experience in policy development, Ministerial Private Office and Press Office.
As Private Secretary to two Ministers and two Secretaries of State, he has worked closely with Ministers and senior policy advisers at pivotal times in Northern Ireland’s history, including in the lead up to the Belfast Agreement, and at the subsequent political talks at Hillsborough Castle and St Andrews.
In October 2016 Richard was awarded an OBE for services to the Northern Ireland peace process. He has an Honours Degree in Public Policy and Management and a post graduate diploma in Journalism Studies from the University of Ulster.
Richard’s hobbies include family history, walking, listening to music and photography.
Chris Lynas was born in Larne and educated at Carrickfergus Grammar School. He continued his studies in Chemistry at Imperial College London before finding he had an aptitude for financial matters. He worked for 30 years in the City of London spending the bulk of this time with Smith & Williamson. Chris carried out a range of roles from managing investments for families to looking after pension schemes, charities and corporate bodies. He sat on the main investment committee and advised the bank on interest rate trends. His last role was as head of Fixed Interest investment. Chris is a Chartered Fellow of the CISI.
Chris was introduced to the Integrated Education Movement by a colleague and has spent a number of years as a volunteer in London helping to raise the IEF’s profile and raise funds. He helped organise an event for young people and represented the IEF at an event in Boston. He has two nieces and a nephew who attend Ulidia Integrated College and is keen to further the aims of the charity.
Having retired, Chris has moved back to his home town on the Antrim coast. His hobbies include playing viola in a community orchestra, singing in a choir, travel and wine. He also follows cricket and horseracing.
Barbara McAtamney (Deputy Chair)
As an official in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Barbara McAtamney has held a range of legislative, policy, operational, and programme/project management roles, including Departmental Assembly Liaison Officer whilst in the Justice Minister’s Office. During this time she has worked closely with Ministers, special advisors, political representatives, policy advisors from a variety of Departments, councils, a range of arms-length bodies and voluntary and community groups.
During her career, Barbara achieved an Honours Degree in Management and Business Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. She also completed the Leaders for Tomorrow Programme at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Barbara is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Governors at Corran Integrated Primary School and Nursery, Larne. As a Governor she is also Chair of the Educational, Pastoral Care and Admissions Sub-Committee; serves on the Finance, Staffing and General Purposes Sub-Committee and is designated Governor for Child Protection.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, running and travelling.
Michael is an economist by training and has 25 years’ experience working in Government, North and South, in the Irish energy sector and in strategic communications. He has a BSSc (Economics) and MSSc from Queen’s University, Belfast and a range of other qualifications including a postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Statistical Methods from Trinity College, Dublin.
He is founder of BMF Business Services, an independent Northern Ireland communications consultancy/ publishing house. BMF offers event management and communications consultancy services and publishes a number of regular titles including the ‘AgendaNI’ public policy magazine.
In his earlier career Michael was a professionally qualified Housing Manager in the NI Housing Executive. He subsequently joined the Department of Finance in Dublin where, after a spell in Public Expenditure Division, he became an Irish Government trade negotiator in Brussels and Geneva and a Director of the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). He later returned to Northern Ireland to become Interconnector Business Manager for Northern Ireland Electricity during which time the existing North/South electricity Interconnector was restored (after a long outage) and the NI interconnector with Scotland was built. He subsequently spearheaded NIE’s entry into the Southern Irish electricity market, lobbying intensively in Dail Eireann and elsewhere to create the legal and regulatory conditions under which the company’s new independent Power project could succeed. Since then he has advised many energy organisations and has written extensively on energy and other areas of public policy.
In more recent times Michael stepped outside BMF when invited to serve as Special Adviser (SpAd) to Northern Ireland’s Social Development Ministers (Margaret Ritchie/Alex Attwood) and later Environment Ministers (Alex Attwood/Mark H Durkan). He has had the experience of attending Stormont’s Executive meetings for almost 6 years.
Outside of work Michael pursues a strong interest in early Irish heritage. He has 3 children and lives in Lurgan, Co Armagh.
Brandon retired as a Director from the Northern Ireland Audit Office in 2017. He has over 40 years’ experience in the public sector, 38 of which have been as an external auditor to government departments and public bodies, challenging and supporting management through financial and value for money audits, and attendance at Audit and Risk Committees. His time in NIAO included a 2-year secondment to the Department of Finance.
Brandon is a qualified Company Secretary. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Organisational Design and Development from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Brandon is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Board of the Forest Service and is Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee. He is also a Member of Council at Malone Golf Club.
Ellen McVea has recently retired as vice principal of Shimna Integrated College, having taught English there since the school’s foundation in 1994. She has also served three terms as staff governor. She previously taught in Methodist College in Belfast and Enniskillen Collegiate School. She was a member of the founding group of Erne Integrated College and was a member of All Children Together from the mid-seventies.
Ellen attended Friends School, Lisburn, the University of Durham, Liverpool University, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Ulster and has held school teacher fellowships at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. She was previously an active member of Women in Education and the Women’s Development Network. She comes from Whitehead and now lives in Newcastle, County Down.
Ellen is currently a member of the Boards of Governors of two integrated schools: Shimna IC and All Children’s IPS.
Born in Belfast, Jane was a teenager when the ‘troubles’ began. After graduating with a degree in European Studies, she worked for six years as a journalist in Brussels and returned to work as a reporter for BBC Northern Ireland. She went on to become Head of the European Commission Office in NI and was one of the architects of the EU PEACE Programme. A long-standing advocate of integrated education, as a founder member of the NI Women’s Coalition, her input into the Good Friday negotiations led to the inclusion of integrated education in the Agreement. She was elected to the first new NI Assembly and became Deputy Speaker in 2000. She also served as Deputy Chief Equality Commissioner and became a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), representing NI in Brussels, and was Vice President for Communications.
Specialising in the role of women in peace-building, Jane has been involved in missions to Afghanistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus. She has authored several reports on the role of the EU in the NI peace process and, following the UK/EU referendum, she launched a petition to keep NI in the EU as part of the UK, in a similar way to what has become the NI Protocol. She stood as an Independent for the European Parliament to increase the ‘remain’ vote and, although failed in her bid, she still considers herself as a ‘European Union-ist’. Following her EESC ‘retirement’ after Brexit, she is now working on a major initiative, known as the White Dove Way, proposing a European path of peace from Northern Ireland to Nicosia, linking the two divided islands on either side of the EU, tracing the legacy of EU peace building throughout Europe and following in the footsteps of the Irish pilgrim Columbanus.
From 2002-2018 Kathleen O’Hare served as Principal of two large post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. She has just recently retired as Head Teacher of Hazelwood Integrated College in North Belfast and was previously Head of St. Cecilia’s College in Derry.
Kathleen is on the Board of Belfast Metropolitan College, and acts as Chair of the Curriculum, Quality and Engagement Committee. She serves on the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) and is a former member of Senate at Queen’s University Belfast. She is currently an Educational Consultant in Leadership Development for the British Council.
She is a former Teacher of History and Politics and was involved in writing several textbooks for the new shared curriculum which emerged in the early 1990s. She is a Fellow of the International Peace School at Messines and was made Freeman of the City of London in 2011 in recognition of innovative cross-community work.
She is a former Head of Careers and believes in the importance of in-depth and up to date advice in schools – in conjunction with Deloitte she has introduced the first formal internship programme in the United Kingdom into Hazelwood.
Her leadership in education has been recognised by becoming UK Head Teacher of the Year in 2009 and Head Teacher of the Year in Belfast through the Blackboard Awards in 2017.
Peter has been involved in political engagement, policy, participation, dispute resolution and reconciliation for over 25 years. He leads Rubicon, undertaking a number and range of audits, strategies, mediations and planning.
Peter is Chair of the regional board of Remembering Srebrenica and a member of its UK Board, and chairs the ARK Advisory Board, a joint social policy initiative by Northern Ireland’s two universities (QUB and UU).
Peter was an elected representative for 12 years during which time he was a delegate to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement process.
He was a director of Extern and Extern Ireland and was a Northern Ireland board member of the Big Lottery Fund.
Peter founded the social enterprise, Landmark East; was a director of the Building Change Trust; led the founding of the Open Government Network; chaired the Community Relations Council; and chaired the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland.
Mary Roulston MBE (Deputy Chair)
Mary Roulston, the founding principal of Millennium Integrated Primary School, was also the school’s teaching principal for its first five and a half years. The school was pioneered by parents and opened in September 2000 with 10 Primary 1 children. Mary led the school for 17 years until her retirement in September 2017, by which time the school had grown to an enrolment of 322 children with an additional 53 children in the nursery.
Mary was born and educated in England. Her husband is from Northern Ireland and when they got married in 1977, the intention was to live in Yorkshire. However a working summer holiday in Northern Ireland, encouragement from his family to stay here, and finding a beautiful, old farmhouse on the Ards Peninsula enticed her to stay!
She has worked in a variety of schools in England, in France, both pre and post qualification, and in Northern Ireland. She has also visited schools in America, Spain, Norway, Israel and the West Bank, to observe practice in the classrooms and to discuss educational philosophy. In addition to this she has also worked in the Rudolf Steiner School in Holywood and is now a Trustee of the school.
A career break of 8 years, during the time when her 3 sons were born, and were of pre-school age, took her into a prolonged period of cross-community work in her local village. During this period she was Chairperson of the Parent and Toddler Group and also the Community Association, of which she was a founder member and which delivered a much needed community hall and health facilities. She continues to be Chair of the Board of Governors of Kircubbin Community Nursery.
Throughout her varied career and experiences she has worked with the socially and academically elite as well as with the most marginalised members of society in three different countries. Inclusion of children with complex special needs has always been important to her.
She was delighted to be awarded the Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year in Education Award in 2014.
Mary considers that being the founding principal of Millennium and working in the integrated sector has been the biggest and most rewarding challenge of her career.