Team Category: The Board

Vickie Wall

Vickie is an Assurance Partner with EY, where she leads and co-founded the EY Global Reporting Centre of Excellence. She has almost 20 years’ experience working in professional services, both here in Ireland and in Australia. Her expertise is in audit, technical accounting advisory, emerging sustainability reporting, corporate governance, and statutory reporting process optimisation.

She works with many Fortune 100 companies providing statutory reporting governance and compliance services and advises global multinational companies on emerging accounting, regulatory and ESG requirements.  

Vickie holds an MA in Business and Accounting from the University of Edinburgh. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland and holds a Diploma in Corporate Governance from Smurfit Business School in addition to a Diploma in IFRS from the ICAI. She is also currently undertaking a Certificate in Sustainability with the ICAI completing in 2023.

Outside of work Vickie is passionate about running, yoga and travelling and tries to find opportunities to combine these wherever possible. She was thrilled to be able to take part in some iconic races last year including the New York, Lisbon, and Nice-Cannes Half Marathons.

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Lassie Mulligan

Lassie has worked in the Banking, Funds and Financial Services Industry for over 30 years in Ireland, Europe, and the US.

After training as a Chartered Accountant, she joined AIB IFSC then moved to Citibank (London). Returning to Ireland in 2006 she joined HSBC, and then spent 15 years in BNY Mellon as a Managing Director and served on the Ireland Executive Committee. For the past 6 years Lassie has been an Independent Director and Chair of The Rise Foundation, a Charity that supports families with loved ones in addiction through education, awareness, and therapy.

Lassie holds a B.Scs. in Business, an MBA from Bayes University in London, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (FCA) and a Certified Ethics and Culture Advisor (CECA). Lassie holds a Diploma in Company Direction from The Institute of Directors (Dip. IoD) and is now embarking on the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing. Lassie started her own Financial Consulting practice in 2022 and works as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

Lassie lives in Dun Laoghaire and loves to spend time with her family and dog and swims every day in the Irish sea regardless of the weather. She loves to try new restaurants, is an avid reader and loves to cook and travel.

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Declan Black

Declan is a solicitor and partner with the law firm Mason Hayes & Curran. He trained and qualified at the firm and has worked there for over 30 years. He served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 2013 to 2022.

In his legal work, he specialises in complex business disputes with significant reputational and financial consequences. He also advises on corporate insolvencies.

His management interests include organisational culture, behavioural psychology, high performance and the service mentality.  

He has always been interested in the societal and social role of the law, especially the role of the rule law in underpinning free societies and the role of law in enabling peaceful social change.

He is married with four children and enjoys cycling, fishing and most sports when time permits.  

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Adam Harris

Adam Harris is the Founder and CEO of AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity. Adam founded the organisation based on his own experiences growing up on the autism spectrum. Today, AsIAm provides support to people with autism and their families, advocates on behalf of the community, and works to support public and private sector organisations and communities in becoming inclusive and accessible.

A Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee, Adam is a frequent contributor to media and conferences in Ireland and overseas. He has also sat and advised on many government consultative and policy committees on disability rights and inclusion. From Greystones in Co Wicklow, Adam was appointed to the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in July 2020.

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Professor Alf Smiddy

Professor Alf Smiddy is a Board Director at Rethink Ireland. 

He was Chairman and Managing Director of Beamish & Crawford Plc for 12 years, as well as on the board of its parent company, Scottish & Newcastle (UK) Ltd. He serves on the Board of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), The Dalata Hotel Group Plc, Cork Chamber of Commerce. Alf is also well known as Chairman of the Cork Local Government Committee.

Since 2008, Alf has been working as a Director, Business Advisor and Consultant in both private and public sectors, including Hotel & Hospitality, Financial Services, Marketing & Technology, Retail, Research & Education, Agriculture & Food, Engineering and Local Government.

He works with leadership teams and CEOs in the Private and Public Sectors in Ireland on Organisational Strategy, Marketing & Business Development, Debt & Balance Sheet Restructuring and HR, etc. He has extensive experience in working in family companies & partnerships, and dealing with the myriad of issues faced by owner managers of SMEs and family companies.

Alf holds a B.Comm. from UCC, M.Sc. in Executive Leadership from Boston College, and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, & a Fellow of the Irish Marketing Institute.

Alf and his wife Jo live in Glanmire, Co. Cork, and they have 5 children.

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Barbara McCarthy

Barbara is a Board Director at Rethink Ireland. 

Barbara has worked in the tech industry for over 20 years in various different industries for both startups and large companies. She has a history of growing large tech teams having held positions such as VP of Software Development for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Software Development Director for Inspired Gaming Group.

Barbara is currently Chief Technical Officer with Ding. She is passionate about technology and diversity within the workplace and is a regular speaker at industry events. She has featured on Silicon Republic’s ‘25 of Ireland’s phenomenal women of engineering’.

In her spare time, Barbara spends time with her family – she is married with 2 children, who ask every day for a dog. She is nuts about Irish music (she plays the accordion; tries to play the flute and is known to play marathon Irish music sessions at festivals), and would love to spend more time deep sea diving. She holds a BA in Economics and Applied Maths and an MSc in IT.

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Niamh O’Donoghue

Niamh O’Donoghue served as Secretary-General of the Department of Social Protection from July 2010 to July 2017. 

She joined the civil service in 1979 and served in a number of Departments and offices including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, the Office of the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commissioners (now the Public Appointments Service) and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

She has a primary degree in Public Administration from the IPA, and also holds an MA (Industrial Relations) from the University of Keele and an MSc (Mgmt) from TCD.

She has a keen interest in People Management, HR/IR and Organisation Change.

She previously acted as Chairman and Board member of the board of the IPA, Director of Common Purpose (Ireland) Ltd, and Board member at the Public Appointments Service.

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John Higgins

John is a founding director and Chair of the Board of Directors at Rethink Ireland and serves on the select grant-making committee of the Board.

He is an avid Mayo football fan and a former CEO of the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland. He now manages his own company Retirement Life Limited. He has also well known in the community development sector and chairs the company, JH Public Affairs Limited, which is involved in this sector. He is the author of many publications regarding social enterprise development. In this regard, he chairs the €8million Bealach Nua project is establishing a design and studio facility in Ballaghaderreen to serve the digital creative sector in the Western Region.

A former primary teacher, John worked in regional development and was CEO of the Western Development Board and Commission; later he worked as general secretary of the Progressive Democrats Party. John holds a Masters in Communications; a Degree in Economics; and Diplomas in Accounting and Finance and in Life Coaching.

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