New Chief Executive appointed

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New Chief Executive Appointed


The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has appointed Dr David Russell as the new Chief Executive.

David has been employed by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission since 2008 and is the current Acting Director. 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.

Following an open recruitment process David will take up the post on 3 April 2017.


24 Mar 2017