Board of Directors
The Irish Emergency Alliance is governed by a Board of Directors, which includes the Chief Executives of all seven of our member organisations and three independent Directors. The vast majority of our work is done by existing staff from our member organisations. There is one additional part-time paid resource with the alliance, the Appeals Directors, who coordinates the work of the alliance. This collaboration model helps ensure costs are kept to a minimum. Our priority is delivering aid and support to those who need it, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Board has ultimate responsibility for directing the work of the organisation; defining its values, vision, and strategic goals, and ensuring the organisation remains true to its charitable purpose.
The Board ensure the organisation is fully compliant with the Charities Regulator Governance Code and complies with the Charities Act 2009.
The Board has two Sub-Committees, a Finance and Audit Committee and an Executive Committee
Helen Keogh (Chairperson)
Helen is a strategic management and international development specialist. She works with organisations bringing strategic, governance, and mediation skills to a wide variety of assignments.
Her previous board and governance experience involved leadership in organisations responsible for international development aid; women’s health; education; community development and planning. She served as chairperson of Dóchas, (the Association of Development NGOs in Ireland), leading it through the development of its first strategic plan and the establishment of its code of governance. Today she sits on the board of POBAL, and chairs its Audit, Finance and Risk committee.
Helen has also served in national and local politics, as a Senator and TD in the Oireachtas between 1989 – 2002, and as a local public representative from 1991 – 2004.
Alan Moore (Company Secretary)
Alan is a highly experienced senior manager, with strong academic background and more than 20 years post-qualification experience as a Chartered accountant. He has extensive management experience in Ireland and internationally working in the international NGO sector along with strong business background in environments which have been challenging and diverse.
Alan is the CEO of the Irish League of Credit Unions Foundation (ILCUF), and a senior board member and treasurer of the European Microfinance Platform. He has previously worked extensively in Asia and is a former board member and treasurer of Dóchas.
Kieran is a highly experienced media consultant with over 25 years’ experience in national journalism and PR. He established GPR Communications in 2019 having worked with a leading Irish PR firm for more than 10 years. Prior to that he was a Radio Editor and Producer on several flagship news and current affairs programmes in RTÉ and Today FM, as well as Deputy Station Editor of Newstalk.
He previously worked as a teacher in a secondary school in rural Zimbabwe for three and a half years as part of the Irish Aid programme to that country. He holds a Masters in Journalism from DCU and a BA and PDE from NUIG.
Member Organisation Directors
Caoimhe de Barra (Trócaire)
Caoimhe de Barra is CEO of Trócaire, a social justice organisation working in partnership with local development and humanitarian actors, to support people and communities to tackle the root causes of poverty, injustice and violence and to use their own power to create positive and lasting change. Trócaire is the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Church.
Caoimhe has lived and worked in several sub-Saharan African Countries, including Mozambique and Malawi, over her 25 year career in development. Her areas of specialisation are in: leading strategic change; governance & human rights; gender equality; and humanitarian preparedness and response.
Caoimhe is on the Board of CIDSE, an international family of Catholic social justice organisations working for transformational change to end poverty and inequality.
David Dalton (Self Help Africa)
David is the Executive Director of Self Help Africa, an international NGO with expertise in small-scale farming and growing family-farm businesses.
David has worked in the international development sector, both at home and overseas, for many years. He was the CEO of Plan International Ireland before joining Self Help Africa in 2016.
He holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from UCD. He has served as a board member of Dóchas and Comhlámh.
Gillian Barnett (World Vision Ireland)
Gillian Barnett is the CEO of World Vision Ireland. She has over 20 years of experience in the charity sector, with a specialism in fundraising and communications. Throughout her career, she has significantly grown income in a number of small, medium and large organisations, to fund vital work. This has involved developing meaningful partnerships with supporters, and ensuring maximum impact for beneficiaries.
Gillian is driven by her Christian faith and believes that all children deserve hope and a future. She is passionate that children are kept high in the political and public agenda so that their voices are not lost. She has a keen interest in supporting vulnerable children, and has held a number of voluntary roles including counselling, and working with children with physical and learning difficulties.
Prior to joining World Vision Ireland, Gillian was at World Vision UK and has held a number of senior positions at the MS Society, ChildLine and Rennie Grove Hospice Care. She has a BA Hons degree, and holds the Professional Diploma in Marketing.
Karol Balfe (ActionAid Ireland)
Karol Balfe is CEO of ActionAid Ireland and oversees the organisation’s work on women and children’s human rights. Karol has worked for over 18 years in the fields of international human rights, development and peacebuilding. Prior to working with ActionAid, Karol worked with Christian Aid for nine years as Global Head of Peacebuilding, Head of Programmes and as an Adviser on Governance, Human Rights and Peacebuilding and worked on a range of human rights issues with Amnesty International Ireland and prior to that with Oxfam. Karol has a Masters in Globalisation and has worked extensively with civil society partners in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Paul O’Brien (Plan International Ireland)
Paul is CEO of Plan International Ireland, an international NGO dedicated to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls.
With a career spanning 35 years in development and humanitarian work, he has lived and worked in a number of developing countries, including Kenya, Sudan, Liberia, Bangladesh and Tanzania.
Paul currently serves on the board of Dóchas and is Chair of the Board of the Plan International EU office in Brussels.
He has studied agriculture and development and holds an MBA from University College Dublin.
Rosamond Bennett (Christian Aid Ireland)
Rosamond is the CEO of Christian Aid Ireland, an international NGO focusing on peacebuilding, gender equality and women’s empowerment, human rights, and emergency response. She is also a board member of Christian Aid Kenya based in Nairobi and a former Chair of the Irish Consortium on Gender-Based Violence. Rosamond is a human rights activist with a focus on women’s empowerment, particularly in the area of peacebuilding.
She is also the Chair of DU Dance, a dance development agency, working with young people from disadvantaged areas and ethnic minority backgrounds in Northern Ireland, Palestine, and Ethiopia.
Sean Copeland (Tearfund Ireland)
Sean is the CEO of Tearfund Ireland, an international NGO focusing on lifting communities out of poverty for good. Tearfund works through the church community.
Originally from the USA, Sean has worked in Ireland for twenty-five years building and developing businesses of all sizes. Working with start-ups, SME’s and larger enterprises Sean has specialised in establishing new businesses, creating new sales channels, identifying partnership opportunities, and leveraging key relationships to drive revenue and growth.
Alongside his business career, Sean has served in leadership, pastoral, and mentoring roles within the Church