Extension of appointments to the board of Libraries NI

Date published: 30 January 2019

The Department for Communities has extended the second term of appoint of three Libraries NI Board Members.

The second terms of appointment of Mr Alastair McDowell, Ms Jane Williams and Ms Angela Matthews have been extended from 1 January 2019 to 28 February 2019. Mr McDowell and Ms Williams have held appointments since 1 April 2009, and Ms Matthews since 1 October 2009.

The following Libraries NI Board Members have been reappointed for a term of four years from 1 January 2019: Mrs Deirdre Kenny; Mr Harry Reid; and, Dr Margaret Ward. They have all served on the Board since 1 March 2014.

Notes to editors: 

1. The primary duty of the Northern Ireland Library Authority (known as Libraries NI), as set down in the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, is to provide a comprehensive and efficient public library service for persons living, working or studying in Northern Ireland.

2. The extensions and reappointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.

3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published.

4. Biographical details of Members:

Mr Alastair McDowell OBE

Mr McDowell previously served as the acting Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Northern Ireland Policing Board. Prior to that he was Head of Business Affairs at the Policing Board. Mr McDowell, who is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and a Graduate of the Open University, has wide corporate governance and financial management skills and experience and holds a post graduate diploma in IT Applications in Accounting from Dublin City University. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

Ms Jane Williams

Ms Williams is an Education Officer at National Museums NI. She was formerly a Lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Ulster, a member of the Northern Ireland Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Chair of the Library Committee of the South Eastern Education and Library Board and a member of the Executive Committee of the Bryson Charitable Group. She has a particular interest in learning and in widening participation. She has brought strategy and policy development skills to the Board. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

Ms Angela Matthews

Ms Matthews has been a member of the Libraries NI Board since 2009. She is a qualified Barrister having been called to the Bar in 2011. She previously practiced as an independent management consultant specialising in equality and diversity, advice and training. She is an Independent Member of the Northern Ireland Valuation Tribunal and is also a former member of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. She is a former member of the BBC Audience Council for Northern Ireland. Ms Matthews brings strong communication and advocacy skills to the Board, as well as experience of policy development. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

Mrs Deirdre Kenny

Mrs Kenny was previously Director of Corporate Services, Director of Health Development and Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation in various government departments. She was appointed to the Board of the Northern Ireland Police Fund by DOJ on 1 April 2016 for which there is no remuneration. She has experience of gender equality and anti-discrimination issues, and also brings governance and financial responsibility skills to the Board. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

Dr Margaret Ward

Dr Ward was Chief Executive of the Women’s Resource and Development Agency until her retirement in December 2013. She brings experience of equality and social inclusion issues, as well as strategic planning skills to the Board. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

Mr Harry Reid

Mr Reid is a partner in HRA, a specialist consultancy working in the field of disability and social inclusion. He was previously a Campaigns and Public Affairs Manager for RNIB, a Committee Member of Volunteer Now and is a former Assistant Librarian. He brings marketing and business planning skills to the Board, as well as public speaking experience. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years and holds no other public appointments.

5. Media enquiries to DFC Press Office on 02890823532 or email: Press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

6. Follow the Department on Twitter

Share this page

Back to top