Appointment of senior IDA official Kieran Donoghue as Invest NI boss welcomed in Derry

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The appointment of senior Industrial Development Authority (IDA) official Kieran Donoghue as the new head of Invest NI has been welcomed in Derry.

"The fact that such a senior member of the IDA will be at the helm of Invest NI is to be welcomed and I hope that it encourages the organisation to rightly promote Derry as the capital of an integrated region with a cross-border labour market,” said the SDLP MLA Sinéad McLaughlin.

The Chamber of Commerce said it was pleased to see the appointment of Mr. Donoghue as the new Chief Executive of Invest NI.

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"We look forward to working with him and showing him the best of the North West city region when he takes up his new role,” it stated.

Kieran Donoghue has been appointed as the new boss of Invest NI.Kieran Donoghue has been appointed as the new boss of Invest NI.
Kieran Donoghue has been appointed as the new boss of Invest NI.

Mr. Donoghue is currently Global Head of Strategy, Public Policy & International Financial Services at the IDA, Invest NI’s counterpart in the south.

He said: “I am delighted to take up this very important role. I look forward to working with the staff of Invest NI, the Board, the business community and our many stakeholders, as we pivot Invest NI to deliver the recently launched Action Plan in response to the Independent Review of Invest NI.”

Colm McKenna, Interim Chair of Invest NI, said, “I am delighted that we have secured Kieran as our new Chief Executive. Kieran brings a wealth of experience from a long and highly successful career in economic development and Foreign Direct Investment.

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“This is an exciting time for the organisation and we look forward to welcoming Kieran to the team when he joins us in early 2024.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Mel Chittock for his stewardship of the organisation over the last two years and to commend him on the guidance and support he has provided during that time. Mel will continue in the role of Interim Chief Executive until Kieran joins us.”

Ms. McLaughlin said: “Kieran Donoghue brings a wealth of experience to Invest NI, particularly from IDA Ireland. I have long advocated for Invest NI to learn from the most effective elements of the work of IDA Ireland, particularly when it comes to rebalancing investment and jobs across the region.”

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The SDLP MLA said she looked forward to working with Mr. Donoghue as he ‘gets to grip with transforming this organisation at a time of profound change and acting on the recommendations from the recent scathing review of Invest NI’.

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She said his leadership will be ‘essential’ as Invest NI undertakes ‘a new approach to the sub-regions and to the North-West in particular’.

"We must see a comprehensive rebalancing of Invest NI support and resource here in our region, the adoption of specific sub-regional targets on employment, skills and productivity and a specific North-West lens applied to the Action Plan that has been produced to tackle the pressing challenges facing the organisation.

“These steps are essential to restoring the confidence of the people of the North-West in the economic development agency and ensuring that everyone across the North has access to quality work.”