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Phone: 028 9024 3987

Email: info@nihrc.org

Helen Henderson


Helen Henderson

Helen Henderson

Commissioner

Having spent most of her working life in the third sector, Helen has a background in global education, community development and peace building. Recently Helen managed a community centre based in Derry/Londonderry, St Columb’s Park House, developing programmes promoting non-violent activism, participative democracy and compassionate leadership. Previously Helen coordinated the Development Education work of an international NGO, Children in Crossfire, training teachers and youth workers in global justice and active citizenship.

She completed a Master’s degree at University of Edinburgh in Business Studies and Psychology and seven years later completed a Masters in Education for Contemporary Society with the UU. It was through the support of the ‘Women into Public Life’ initiative that Helen secured a Board appointment with the Northern Ireland Fisheries and Harbours Authority where she finishes her term in December 2020. Helen’s voluntary work over the last decade has included chairing a local campaign group to raise awareness of modern-day slavery and as an active committee member of a local community association. In her spare time she loves cold water swimming around the North coast and dabbling in a bit of poetry.

Dr David Russell


Dr David Russell

Dr David Russell

Chief Executive

David has been Chief Executive since April 2017. 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 addressing the legacy of conflict. 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 governments and National Human Rights Institutions working in societies facing significant constitutional reforms. 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.

Les Allamby


Les Allamby

Les Allamby

Chief Commissioner

Les Allamby has been appointed Chief Commissioner for a period of five years. He took up post on 1 September 2014. His second term will last for two years until 31 August 2021.

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 in 2014 and he was a trustee of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland from 2009-2018. 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. From 2015-2018 he chaired the Commonwealth Forum for National Human Rights Institutions.

He was also the inaugural 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 was the Northern Ireland member and vice chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee from 2005-2014. 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).

He was a member of CAJs executive committee and a founder member of the Children’s Law Centre.

Eddie Rooney


Eddie Rooney

Eddie Rooney

Commissioner

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. This is Eddie’s second term as a part-time Commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Jonathan Kearney


Jonathan Kearney

Jonathan Kearney

Commissioner

Jonathan is an independent consultant with specific focus on education and training within the areas of security, crisis management and policing around the nexus of human rights. He has previously worked with European academics on a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project examining EU policy and practice in crisis-management operations, specifically focusing on human rights and policing accountability. Having progressed to senior leadership in operational policing over a period of thirty-two years, he transitioned to the world of academia as Assistant Professor in one of the United Arab Emirates’ foremost institutions established to train and educate security sector personnel.

Jonathan’s research activities into international policing have taken him to places as disparate as the United Nations in New York, and the Balkan states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the Republic of North Macedonia. More recently, he has worked with Charles Sturt University in Australia as a sessional academic.

Maura Muldoon


Maura Muldoon

Maura Muldoon

Commissioner

Maura Muldoon is a former public servant who worked in a range of public bodies, focusing on mainstreaming human rights and equality into organisational policies, procedures and practices. Her particular areas of interests are the promotion of human rights in the fields of health and justice, particularly for children and young people.

Stephen White OBE


Stephen White OBE

Stephen White OBE

Commissioner

Stephen White is a security sector reform consultant. After a police career, during which he reached the rank of Assistant Chief Constable and served in Northern Ireland, GB and on international missions, he worked for the European Union in Brussels and Iraq as Special Adviser to the Secretary General and as Head of Mission (2004 – 2009). In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for his services to policing at home and abroad. He is the holder of several posts locally, nationally and internationally, including Senior Fellow of the US-based Global Center on Co-operative Security; Member of the Expert Council of INPROL (the International Network for Promoting the Rule of Law); Director on the Board of Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO); and, Member of the Police Advisory Committee for Belfast Harbour Commissioners. He is the part-time volunteer Chairman of the Royal Ulster Constabulary GC (RUCGC) Foundation - an arm’s length body sponsored by the Department of Justice - and is a trustee of Brooke House Health and Wellbeing Centre. He previously served a full term as a board member of Community Restorative Justice Ireland (2012 – 2015).

Since leaving the EU (2010 – present) he has carried out numerous assignments providing consultancy, analysis, research, training and support to a number of agencies. Specialist subjects include security sector reform, conflict resolution, international policing, strategic planning and change management, community policing, police accountability and community partnerships, countering violent extremism, human rights and policing, management training and leadership development. Clients have included private companies, non-governmental organisations and government agencies and ministries. He holds Masters Degrees from Cambridge and Queens (Belfast) Universities, has published several papers and contributed, pro-bono, to many academic and professional research programs and initiatives.

David Lavery CB


David Lavery CB

David Lavery CB

Commissioner

David Lavery CB is the Chief Executive of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Before joining the Law Society in September 2019, Mr Lavery had spent the greater part of his career working in the Justice Sector in Northern Ireland, including as Chief Executive of the Court Service and, most recently, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Department of Justice. A qualified Barrister, Mr Lavery was a Knox Fellow at Harvard Law School and an Associate at Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. He is an Eisenhower Fellow and a Visiting Professor at Ulster University.

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