New Trinity Board meets

Posted on: 21 September 2023

Trinity’s new Board met on campus yesterday for the first time. The Board welcomed six new external members, two new staff members and two new student members in addition to twelve continuing Board members. At the meeting Mr Paul Farrell was appointed Chairperson of the Board and Dr Mary Kelly was appointed Deputy Chairperson.

This was the first meeting under the new Board structure and is the first time that the Trinity Board appointed an external Chairperson of the Board.

Back row (L-R): László Molnárfi, Kevin Byrne, Tara Doyle, Mark Cunningham, Khurshid Ahmad, Orla Cunningham, Alex White, Cliona O’Farrelly, Eleanor Denny, Isolde Goggin, John Walsh, Neasa Hardiman, Alan Dignam. Middle row: Aoife Bennett, Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez, Caitríona Leahy, Rachel Mathews-McKay, Darryl Jones, Louise Ryan. Front row: Victoria Butler, John Coman, Paul Farrell, Linda Doyle, Orla Sheils, Mary Kelly

The Board is the primary decision-making body of the university and comprises of members from the student body, professional and academic staff and external members. In addition the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Innovation, Research and Science nominates three members under the 1997 Universities Act, as amended by the Higher Education Authority Act, 2022 and the Supplemental Charter of 2022.

I am delighted to welcome the new members of the Board of Trinity College Dublin,” said Provost Linda Doyle. “Their knowledge and experience will bring new perspectives and insights to the university. My thanks go to the members of the previous Board who have been so generous with their time and expertise, and particularly to those who have recently stepped down. The Board plays a crucial role in Trinity’s governance and we are grateful for the dedication of its members to the university, our students and our staff.

The members of the Board (in alphabetical order) are:

Khurshid Ahmad

Khurshid is Professor of Computer Science at Trinity’s School of Statistics and Computer Science. He is a Fellow of Trinity and the British Computer Society and his research areas include AI, machine learning, social media and networks, cybersecurity for infrastructures and behavioural finance.

Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez

Associate Professor of Computer Science Inmaculada Arnedillo-Sánchez is a UNICEF advisor and has lectured in Learning Technologies at Trinity since 2002. She specialises in Mobile Learning.

Aoife Bennett

Aoife is Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union’s Welfare and Equality Officer. She has previously served as Welfare Officer in the Junior Common Room and was on the Welfare Committee of TCDSU.

Kevin Byrne

Kevin is a Security Officer in Estates & Facilities and has worked at Trinity since 1999. He was elected by Trinity’s professional, technical, administrative and support staff and is a member of the Trinity Legacies Review Working Group.

Mark Cunningham

Mark is the Ellen Mayston Bates Professor of Neurophysiology of Epilepsy (Discipline of Physiology, School of Medicine) and conducts fundamental and translational research in the field of epilepsy. He is a member of the British Neuroscience Association, the Physiological Society (UK) and the International League against Epilepsy (Ireland & UK Chapter).

Alan Dignam

Currently Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London, Alan brings with him considerable corporate governance and HEI experience. A Trinity alumnus, Alan holds a BA in History and a PhD in Law from DCU. He has proven experience as mentor and external advisor to numerous organisations.

Linda Doyle

Linda is Provost of Trinity College Dublin. She was appointed in 2021 and previously served as Trinity’s Dean & Vice President of Research (2018-2020). Linda was elected as a Fellow of Trinity in 2011 and an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford.

Tara Doyle

A practicing solicitor, Tara is a former Chair of the Irish Funds Industry Association and current Chair of the Irish Funds ESG Policy, Legal & Regulatory Working Group. Tara is a member of the IFSC Funds Group established by the Department of the Taoiseach. She has a wealth of experience in governance and is a member of the Provost's Council at Trinity.

Paul Farrell

Paul has held three careers, first as an Army Officer, secondly as a consultant and Partner with EY and lastly as a VP and GM in IBM. He has worked extensively overseas and specialises in business transformation and performance improvement. He joined the Trinity Board in October 2022 and has been elected as Chairperson of the Board.

Isolde Goggin

Over two decades, Isolde has served as Chairperson for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the Competition Authority and the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).

Neasa Hardiman

Neasa is an industry-academic innovator. As founder of Big Stories on the Small Screen, she brought together globally-renowned media experts and academics to foster transdisciplinary collaboration, research and learning. A Trinity alumna with a PhD in Film Studies, Neasa brings BAFTA-winning international experience of the arts and non-executive board experience. She is a fluent Irish speaker.

Darryl Jones

Professor of Modern British Literature and Culture Darryl has taught at Trinity since 1994, and is a Trinity Fellow. His research areas include popular literature and Victorian and Edwardian fiction.  He is the General Editor of the Oxford Sherlock Holmes (9 vols, 2023-24).

Mary Kelly

As a former chair of both the Environmental Protection Agency and An Bórd Pleanála, Mary has proven experience in placing sustainability at the heart of large organisations. She is the current Chair of i-CRAG, an SFI-funded Research Centre and holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry and an Honorary ScD (2022) from Trinity.

Caitríona Leahy

Caitríona is Associate Professor in German at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies and is a Fellow of Trinity. Her research is focused on Austrian literature and visual culture.

László Molnárfi

Students’ Union President László Molnárfi is a Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology student and previously served as Social Sciences and Philosophy Convenor for TCDSU.

Rachel Mathews-McKay

Rachel has worked as a Library Assistant since 2001. She is currently the Outreach and Events Executive for the Library, responsible largely for the Library’s social media channels and coordinating internal and external events as part of the Librarian’s Office. Rachel was also Chair of the Estates Policy Committee.

Andrea Nolan

Andrea is Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology and Principal & Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University. In 1999, she was the first woman ever appointed to head a British veterinary school. She has published widely on animal pain, its recognition and treatment.

Cliona O’Farrelly

Cliona is Professor of Comparative Immunology and Chair of Fellows at Trinity. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and previously served as President of the Irish Society of Immunology. She researches human immunology, with a focus on innate immune activity and resistance to viral infections.

Lorna Roe

Lorna is a Research Assistant Professor at Trinity’s Centre for Health Policy and Management. She has been part of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) since 2013. Lorna researches gerontology, health economics, policy analysis and healthy ageing.

Orla Sheils

Trinity’s Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer Orla Sheils is a Professor of Molecular Diagnostics and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. A Fellow of Trinity, she is an elected member of the WHO’s Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (2024-2027).

John Walsh

Ussher Assistant Professor in Higher Education John Walsh is a lecturer in the School of Education, specialising in Higher Education Studies. He is a member of Trinity’s Cultures, Academic Values and Education Research Group and co-ordinates the Diploma/M.Ed strand in Teaching and Learning (Higher Education).

Alex White

Alex is Director General of the Institute of International and European Affairs. He previously served as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and as leader of the Labour Party in the Seanad. A Trinity alumnus, he holds a degree in Economic and Social Studies.

Vacancies (3)

The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science will make two further nominations and expressions of interest are currently being sought through

There is also a vacancy on the Board for a third student member. It is anticipated that the Students’ Union will make a nomination to the Board in that regard in the coming weeks.

Board Secretariat and other officers in attendance at Board meetings:

John Coman, Secretary to the College

Victoria Butler, Secretary to the College/Director of Governance – Designate

Eleanor Denny, Bursar/Director of Strategic Innovation

Orla Cunningham, Chief Operating Officer

Louise Ryan, Interim Chief Financial Officer.

For more information about the composition of Trinity’s Board, click here.