Speakers and Bios
Micheál Martin was born in Turners Cross, Cork. He attended University College Cork where he qualified with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
He became Taoiseach on 27 June 2020. Previously, he has served as Lord Mayor of Cork in 1992-93, and on the Fianna Fáil front bench and in four cabinet posts:
Minister for Foreign Affairs (2008-2011)
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2004-2008)
Minister for Health (2000-2004)
Minister for Education (1997-2000)
Dearbhail McDonald is an award-winning Journalist, Author and Broadcaster.
A global Eisenhower Fellow, the former Group Business and Legal Editor of Independent News And Media is the 2021 Outstanding Achievement Award from the UCD Smurfit School Business Journalist Awards, as well The Mary Cummins Award for Outstanding Achievement of Women in Media.
An in-demand broadcaster, Dearbhail presented BBC Northern Ireland’s ‘Crime NI’, ‘Sunday with Dearbhail’ on BBC Radio Ulster and also regularly sits in the hot seat on RTÉ Radio One covering Brendan O’Connor.
President of the strategic committee of the Centre Cultural Irlandais in Paris, the Newry born non-executive director has served as a member of the board of Fighting Words, Ireland’s national creative writing centre for children and young adults, as well as the Stephen’s Green Trust.
Dearbhail holds an LL.B (Law) from Trinity College Dublin as well as a Masters Degree in Journalism from Dublin City University.
Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for Financial services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union. The Commissioner’s vision for the portfolio is focused on ensuring the financial sector’s strength and stability, so that it can deliver for people, society and the environment.
Mairead McGuinness served as First Vice-President of the European Parliament from January 2017 to October 2020, when she joined the European Commission. She was an MEP for 16 years, and was a Vice-President of the Parliament since 2014.
Prior to becoming an MEP, Mairead McGuinness was an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and commentator
Dr Frances Ruane is chair of the National Competiveness and Productivity Council; an Honorary Fellow at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and a Research Affiliate at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). An economist, she held academic and senior administrative positions at TCD between 1977 and 2006, and was Director of the ESRI from 2006 to 2015. Her research interests are in economic development, international economics and public policy, and she has published widely in these areas.
Frances was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2003, and served as President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland from 2016-2019 and as President of the Irish Economic Association from 2000-2002. Over her academic career, she has contributed to the work of various EU and international bodies and has been a visitor at several universities in the USA and Canada, including MIT in Boston, University of California at Berkeley and Queens University in Ontario.
Frances has previously served as Chair of the National Statistics Board and has been a Board Member of various public bodies in Ireland, including the National Board for Science and Technology, the Industrial Development Authority, Forfás (the national policy advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation in Ireland), Bord Gáis Eireann, the Higher Education Authority, the Health Research Board and the Commission of the National Pensions Reserve Fund.
Frances studied Economics at University College Dublin where she obtained a BA and an MA, and at Oxford University, where she was awarded an MPhil and a DPhil.
Frances is currently Chair of the Abbey Theatre, Ireland’s National Theatre. She was born in Tuam, Co Galway.
Danny McCoy is CEO at Ibec, the group that represents Irish business domestically and internationally. Since becoming CEO in 2009, he has led a substantial transformation of Ibec increasing turnover to €31 million, leading a professional services staff of 240 in 7 locations and 38 sub-brands. Prior to joining Ibec, he served as a senior economist at both the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Central Bank of Ireland. He has held lecturing posts at Dublin City University, University College London, University of Oxford and Trinity College Dublin and has been visiting lecturer at the IMD Business School in Switzerland and Harvard University in the US.
He has been a consultant for the European Commission and the OECD. He currently serves as President of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineers. He is a member of the Export Trade Council, the BusinessEurope Executive Committee, and the OECD-BIAC working group on Corporate Taxation. Danny correctly identified the turnaround in the Irish economy prior to the EU Troika programme and initiated significant media campaigns around the driving the recovery domestically and internationally.
Over recent years, he has made significant speeches to the United Nations ILO plenary in Geneva; to the European Business Summit in Brussels; spoken at conferences in the New York and London Stock Exchanges, at the IMF in Washington DC, the World Trade Organisation in Geneva; Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce; and the OECD Economic Forum in Paris. He regularly presents to the Global Boards of international multinational organisation. He is a regular contributor in the print and broadcast media and has written columns for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Irish Times among other international newspapers.
Owen Reidy, a father of 2 and a native of Donegal has 24 years of full-time experience in the Irish trade union movement. He started his career as a union official in SIPTU in the west of Ireland and occupied a range of roles in the union representing and organising workers in the aviation, insurance, and finance, non-commercial semi-states, and cleaning and security sectors. He was appointed one of SIPTU’s 5 Divisional Organisers in 2013 when he managed and ran the unions Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Division. During this time he was involved in a number of high profiled and successful industrial disputes including the Greyhound lockout, the Luas dispute, and pay disputes in the CIE transport companies.
Owen was appointed as General Secretary of ICTU in October 2022.
Dara Calleary TD is the Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation. He was appointed to this role in September 2022.
A native of Ballina, Dara Calleary has been a TD for Mayo since first being elected at the 2007 General Election.
He was previously Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with responsibility for Labour Affairs from 2009-2011 and Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Finance with responsibility for Public Service Transformation from 2019-2011. He served as Minister for Agriculture and as Government Chief Whip in 2020.
Dara served as Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil from 2018-2020 and has also served as Spokesperson on Justice, Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Public Expenditure and Reform and Social Protection portfolio.
Prior to entering politics Dara was involved in the banking and business sectors. Dara studied Business and Politics at Trinity College Dublin and attended St Muredach’s College Ballina and St Oliver Plunkett National School.
Martin Sandbu is the Financial Times's European Economics Commentator. He also writes Free Lunch, the FT's weekly newsletter on the global economic policy debate. He has been writing for the FT since 2009, when he joined the paper as Economics Leader Writer.
Before joining the FT, he worked in academia and policy consulting. He has taught and carried out research at Harvard, Columbia and the Wharton School, and has advised governments and NGOs on natural resources and economic development. He is the author of three books, on business ethics, the euro, and on "the economics of belonging". He was educated at the universities of Oxford and Harvard.
John O’ Brennan
John O’Brennan is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and holds the Jean Monnet Chair in European integration at Maynooth University. He is also the director of the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies. John’s work focuses on European Union institutions and politics, and, specifically on the process and politics of the EU's Enlargement policy. He also specialises in Ireland’s experience of European integration and is currently finishing a monograph which examines Ireland's experience of EU membership over 50 years since accession in 1973.
John is a board member and past Vice-President of the Irish Association for Contemporary European Studies and a member of the Irish government's Brexit Stakeholder Group since 2017.
Outi Slotboom is Director for Strategy and Economic Analysis in the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. Her work focuses on monitoring and analysing the business environment and the performance of EU industrial ecosystems in the Single Market and globally, with particular attention to small and medium-sized enterprises. She previously worked in the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs and, prior to joining the European Commission, in the Finnish Ministry of Finance.
Leo Clancy is the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, the state agency that helps Irish companies to start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets.
Before being appointed CEO of Enterprise Ireland, Leo led the Technology, Consumer and Business Services sector as well as IT, Marketing Communications and Corporate Services at IDA Ireland and was a member of the Executive Management team. In that role, Leo worked extensively with global technology and services companies invested in Ireland.
Prior to his public sector career, Leo spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry, including in a number of management, technical and engineering roles. He was part of the senior leadership team at e|net, a high-growth Irish wholesale broadband provider and spent his early career at Ericsson, primarily working on global services for deployment of mobile and fixed networks.
Leo graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with a First-Class Honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering in 1996. He grew up on a farm in County Tipperary and retains a strong fundamental understanding of the agricultural and food sector, in addition to his broader business experience of technology, services and manufacturing industries.
Kieran is a graduate of the National University of Ireland (NUI) and has also studied at Boston College and the University of Toronto. He joined IDA Ireland in 2002 and is actively involved in developing and implementing strategy for the future development of the financial services industry in Ireland and the promotion of innovation in international services.
Previously, Kieran was Senior Policy Advisor and Manager of the Enterprise Policy Unit in Forfas: the Irish Government's advisory body for economic development. Prior to joining Forfas and IDA, he was a graduate research student in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. While in Canada, his work focused on high-technology industry, R&D Joint Ventures and innovation systems. He was also assistant researcher on a Canadian Government project to assess the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the high-tech industry in Canada.
John is a former European Entrepreneur Of The Year and founder of several technology and innovation focused businesses. In a career spanning over 30 years, John has held executive-level positions in R&D, Operations, Sales, and General Management in both the SME and MNC environment. A Chartered Engineer, he holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University, is an Adjunct Professor at University of Galway where in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to the development of the Irish Medical Device sector John was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate.
John has led Aerogen from a start-up in 1997 through a US merger, NASDAQ IPO, trade sale and return to a privately held company by MBO in 2008. Today Aerogen is recognized as a pioneer and the global leader, in ICU ventilator/hospital-based aerosol drug delivery. Its award-winning products are employed in over 75 countries throughout the world, helping to provide life critical interventions from the emergency department through to the NICU. Aerogen’s proprietary technology permits proteins, peptides, suspensions and solutions to be nebulized, paving the way for targeted drug delivery to the lung.
Within Europe Aerogen has clinical and commercial staff located in several countries along with direct operations in Germany, France and Britain. From its Galway base Aerogen and has established distribution partners in all European Community member states.
Martin Cotter is Senior Vice President of the Industrial and Multi Markets Business Unit. In this role, Mr. Cotter is responsible for driving strategic growth, investment and value capture, and accelerated development of leading precision and core power products and complete solutions. Serving as many broad market customers as possible through ease of selection, adoption, and deployment through expert application support.
Prior to this role, Mr. Cotter led ADI’s Global Sales and Digital Marketing since 2016, building stronger, collaborative partnerships with customers and help them deliver differentiated products globally.
Mr. Cotter, who joined ADI in 1986 as a design engineer, has led some of the company’s highest-growth business segments, in addition to holding a variety of roles in engineering and product line management. Mr. Cotter brings a wealth of domain expertise and experience in helping customers solve their toughest signal processing challenges. As vice president of ADI’s Communications business, Mr. Cotter worked closely with customers to understand their system level problems and guide technology development for high-speed radio solutions that enabled the worldwide deployment of 4G/LTE networks. Mr. Cotter took on responsibility as Vice President of ADI’s Internet of Things (IoT), Healthcare, and Consumer Business Units, he was responsible for the development of market-leading high dynamic range and ultra-low power signal processing technology, as well as sensors, algorithms, micro-controllers, connectivity, and power management solutions that enable embedded systems and the portability and advanced features that consumers are seeking.
Liam is Director of Strategy and Development at PM Group. A Chemical Engineer, Liam’s expertise in the design, construction management, commissioning and qualification of pharmaceutical and biologics facilities was developed over 30 years working with world leading Life Sciences companies in the USA, Europe and Asia. With PM Group since 1989, he has worked in engineering, project management, operations and business development. Liam joined the PM Group Board in 2013.
Thomas Byrne is Minister for European Affairs of Ireland and TD for Meath East.
He has served as a member of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) since 2007 and was appointed a Minister by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in July 2020.
Prior to entering politics, he studied law at Trinity College Dublin, before qualifying as a lawyer at one of Ireland’s largest commercial law firms and qualified subsequently as an Attorney-at-Law in New York State.
He speaks fluent Gaeilge (Irish) and is proficient at both French and Italian.
Laurence Boone is an economist with a PhD in Applied Econometrics from the London Business School (United Kingdom), an MSc in Econometrics and Macroeconomic Modelling from Reading University (United Kingdom); a Master’s Degree in Economics from Université Paris X Nanterre (France) and a postgraduate diploma (DEA) in Modelling and Quantitative Analysis from University Paris X Nanterre (France).
Laurence Boone has authored numerous articles and taught at the École Polytechnique, ENSAE (French National School of Statistics and Economic Administration), École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and Sciences Po’s Paris School of International Affairs.
She has worked in economics research centres, including the French Government’s Centre for Prospective Studies and International Information (CEPII) and the OECD; she was Chief Economist at Barclays Capital France from 2004 to 2011, and Chief Economist and Director-General of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research from 2011 to 2014.
In 2014, the President of the French Republic appointed her as Sherpa and Special Adviser for multilateral and European economic and financial affairs.
In 2016, she was Chief Economist for AXA Group.
In 2018, she became Chief Economist of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). She directed research for the OECD’s Economics Department, represented the OECD for economic and financial affairs and took part alongside the Secretary General in meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee as well as G7 and G20 meetings.
In January 2022, Laurence Boone became Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, in addition to her position as Chief Economist. She oversaw the analysis and drafting of public policies in the areas of employment, labour and social affairs, education, skills and well-being, inclusion, sustainability and equal opportunities. She also directed research for the Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches.
Laurence Boone was appointed Minister of State for Europe on 4 July 2022.
Lynda Magee (MBA) VP Global Strategic Demand has worked in WaterWipes for the past 7 years. Her current role leading the Global Strategic Demand Function spans across the strategic pillars for growth; Global Portfolio Acceleration, Strategic Revenue Management, Category, Channel & Customer Centricity and Global Data & Insights to enable the regional commercial teams to deliver their strategic demand acceleration across the global strategic markets.
Prior to this role, Lynda was Regional VP of Commercial (Brand & Sales) for UK, Ireland & Australia for 5+ years building the UK Mults business from infancy in 2015 to a market share of 10% by 2021 with the support of her team. In her earlier career, she worked with Unilever, as a customer development manager for Tesco UK.
She has also worked in the digital industry, spending some time working in Twitter in a sales capacity and also in an omnichannel start up before her career began in WaterWipes.
When she is not working she loves nothing more than spending her free time with her family; husband Andrew, and three children; Jessica (7), Harry (4) and Zoe (almost 2) & 2 dogs Leila and Frankie – all WaterWipes consumers!