Les Allamby has been appointed Chief Commissioner for a period of five years. He took up post on 1 September 2014.
Les is a solicitor and formerly the Director of the Law Centre (Northern Ireland). He was appointed honorary Professor of Law at the University of Ulster last year and is a trustee of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland. He was a former Chair of an Advisory group to Human Rights Commission on proposals for economic and social rights within a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.
He was also formerly the Chair of the Social Security Standards Committee for Northern Ireland, a member of the Legal Services Commission (Northern Ireland) and a member of the Legal Services Review Group. He has undertaken election monitoring for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and International Organisation for Migration in Bosnia, Pakistan and Georgia. Les was also a former Chair of the immigration sub group (OFMDFM) and a former member of the Northern Ireland Strategic Migration Partnership (Home Office).
David has been Chief Executive since April 2017 and employed by the Commission since 2008. From 2009-2016 he also served as a Non-executive Director at the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.
David has led the Commission’s duty to advise the United Kingdom government, Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly on matters affecting human rights in the jurisdiction. In addition, he has managed research and the exercising of investigatory powers on a diversity of social policy issues from emergency healthcare to racist hate crimes; the rights of nursing care home residents to the display of flags’ symbols and emblems. In 2008, he was engaged in drafting the Commission’s advice to the Secretary of State on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. In 2010, he was similarly involved in the work of the Joint Committee of the National Human Rights Institutions on the island of Ireland to produce advice on a proposed Charter of Rights.
David has expertise assisting National Human Rights Institutions working in post-conflict societies or with those facing significant constitutional reforms worldwide. This has included providing support to capacity building and governance programmes delivered in partnership with the United Nations, United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Commonwealth Secretariat and European Union.From 2006-2009 David was Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Education, Queen’s University Belfast, and from 2002-2004 he was a Research Associate at the University of Oxford. He holds a PhD from the University of York, MA and BA Hons from Queen’s University Belfast.
Helen Ferguson was the Director of Carers Northern Ireland from 1994-2015.
She has over 30 years’ experience of working in the community and voluntary sector, and is currently employed as part-time Policy and Campaigns Officer with National Deaf Children’s Society.
Helen is a member of the Equality Commission Northern Ireland.
Helena Macormac is a lawyer currently employed as Policy Director for the National Association of Head Teachers Northern Ireland (NAHT (NI)). Prior to her role at NAHT she was Head of Strategic Advocacy at the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities.
Helena is currently a board member of the Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland and an Advisory Board member to the Black and Minority Ethnic Women’s Network Northern Ireland.
Paul Mageean is currently the Director of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, a Parole Commissioner and Chair of Public Interest Litigation Support Project.
Previously, Paul was a Legal Officer for the Committee on the Administration of Justice (1995-2004), Head of the Criminal Justice Secretariat for the NI Court Service (2004-2005), and Director of the Graduate School of Professional Legal Education (2008-2013). He was also a Commissioner for the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
John McCallister is currently a Land Mobility Programme Manager for Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster/Ulster Farmers Union (YFCU/UFU).
Previously John was a Rural Support board member from 2002-2005, a YFCU President from 2003-2005 and a Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Down March 2007-May 2016.
Eddie Rooney is a former Senior Civil Servant who was Chief Executive of the Public Health Agency (PHA), from its formation in 2009 until his retirement in 2016. Prior to joining the PHA, he was Equality Director in OFMDFM (now The Executive Office) and Deputy Secretary in the Department of Education.
Eddie is a member of the Advisory Board of the Food Safety Promotion Board (Safefood) and an Honorary Member of the Faculty of Public Health.
Graham Shields is the former Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland and a retired senior police officer.
Graham was awarded the OBE for Services to Electoral Democracy in the 2017 Birthday Honour’s List.