Professor Brian MacCraith
Chairperson of the Genio Trust; President of Dublin City University

Brian MacCraith received his B.Sc and PhD in physics (Optical Spectroscopy of chromium-doped crystals) at NUI, Galway. Prof MacCraith is renowned internationally for his research on optical chemical sensors and biosensors; he has a substantial track record of publications and intellectual property in this area. In October 1999, he became founding Director of the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR; at DCU. The NCSR has now grown to a scale of 240 researchers. In August 2001, Prof. MacCraith was elected to Fellowship of the Institute of Physics. Four years later, a spin-off company (Gas Sensor Solutions) based on technology developed by Prof. MacCraith won the Liavan Mallin Invent Award for innovation. In October 2005, he was appointed Director of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI; with funding of €22.5m. Currently, he is a member of the Forfas Advisory Council on Science, Technology & Innovation and the Government-appointed High-Level Steering Group on Research Prioritisation. In July 2010, he was inaugurated as President of Dublin City University, a position that he will hold for 10 years.

Barney Whelan
Former Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, An Post

Barney Whelan retired from An Post as Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs in 2016. He is currently working on a number of exciting projects. Having spent many years in the aquaculture industry, he was responsible for public relations and brand communications at the ESB from 1992 to 2002. He subsequently held the position of Director, Sales and Marketing at safefood, The Food Safety Promotion Board. He is currently a Governor of the National Gallery and also sits on the Foundation Board of the National College of Ireland and the Board of Drinkaware. He has chaired a number of non-profit organisations over the years.

Bairbre Nic Aongusa
Head of Community Development Division at Department of Rural and Community Development

Bairbre Nic Aongusa is Assistant Secretary General in Ireland’s Department of Rural and Community Development, where the mission is “To promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland”.  

As Head of the Community Development Division, Bairbre’s objectives include encouraging active citizenship (including volunteering), supporting the growth and development of philanthropy and working with stakeholders to develop an overarching vision for the future of local and community development in Ireland.  Supporting social inclusion and social enterprise through EU-supported funding programmes and ensuring best practice in the governance, management and administration of charities through oversight of the Charities Regulator are also key responsibilities.   

Bairbre previously served as Assistant Secretary General in the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government from 2014-2017, where she was responsible for Social Housing Policy and Rental Policy.  Prior to taking up her Housing role, Bairbre spent 20 years in the Department of Health in various roles, including Head of Finance from 2012-2014.  She was Director of the Office for Disability & Mental Health, within the Department of Health, from 2008-2012.    

19-21 Westland Square
Pearse St., Dublin 2, D02 YH27, Ireland
Phone +353 1 707 1700
Email [email protected]