Appointments to the Board of National Museums Northern Ireland

Date published: 01 July 2024

Communities Minister, Gordon Lyons MLA, has appointed Shane Quinn as a Trustee to the Board of National Museums Northern Ireland from 1 July 2024 to 30 June 2028.

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He has also reappointed Charlotte Jess and Robert Whan as Trustees from 1 July 2024 until 30 June 2028. They have both served on the Board from 1 July 2020.

National Museums Northern Ireland is the corporate name of the Board of Trustees of the National Museums and Galleries of NI, established under the Museums and Galleries (NI) Order 1998. It is a Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Communities.

It is made up of four museums – the Ulster Museum, the Ulster Folk Museum, the Ulster Transport Museum and the Ulster American Folk Park – and serves as custodian for 1.4 million objects in Northern Ireland’s national collection. Its main statutory functions are to care for, preserve and add to the objects in its collections, interpret and exhibit them to the public, and to promote the awareness, appreciation and understanding by the public of art, history and science, the culture and way of life of people and the migration and settlement of people.

Notes to editors: 

1. The Trustee position requires a time commitment of 1 day per month. These positions are unpaid. However, travel and subsistence allowances are payable in line with NI Civil Service rates.

2. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s (CPA NI) Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPA NI requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Any relevant details are provided in he below biographies.

3. Biographical Details:

  • Shane Quinn: Mr Quinn is the Development Director at Belfast Buildings Trust, a Board Director of the Academy of Urbanism, and a Trustee of the RUC George Cross Foundation (this position is unpaid), where he also serves as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. His professional background involves work in policy and project delivery across heritage, culture, and placemaking. He brings a range of skills in corporate governance, strategic policy development, and implementing delivery plans. He does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.
  • Charlotte Jess: Ms Jess is the Websites Manager at Texthelp, a world leader in the development of technologies to support reading and writing. She is responsible for leading the vision to develop digital journeys and engagement, and ensuring the digital presence drives growth, engages visitors, and represents the brands. Ms Jess has led digital transformation across varied organisations and sectors, developing digital growth strategies to reach out to a wide range of audiences and stakeholders, via tactics such as social media, virtual experiences, marketing automation, data analysis and digital content. Formerly, as Website Manager at Queen’s University Belfast, she managed a large digital presence supporting global university activity. As the former Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Crescent Arts Centre, she led the organisation through a period of transformational strategic and governance change. She does not hold any other public appointments and has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.
  • Dr Robert Whan: Dr Whan is Customer Experience Manager at Queen’s University Belfast. He has experience of teaching history at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, and has held posts at Armagh Robinson Library, National Museums NI, Newry and Mourne Museum and Down County Museum. He is a committee member of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) Ireland, CONUL (Consortium of National and University Libraries) and CSG (Customer Service Group) UK Libraries and a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy. Dr Whan brings governance and leadership experience, as well as an appreciation of the influence and contribution that museums make to society. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

4. Media enquiries via email to DFC Press Office.

5. Follow us on Twitter @CommunitiesNI

6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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