A graduate of both Queen’s and Ulster University, Mairéad has worked on behalf of vulnerable children and young people for many years. Since 1998 she worked in the Education Sector, from a ‘Child’s Rights’ perspective, with young people outside the mainstream school system in the areas of education, training, health and youth justice.
She moved on to run Integrated Services for Children & Young People’s (ISCYP) in 2009 and rolled this model out across neighbourhood partnership areas, developing integrated working with statutory, community and voluntary sector agencies whose work impacted on the lives of marginalised children, young people and families.
Mairead has also been involved in a number of strategic and advisory working groups e.g. DE’s PEHAW strategy, Review of Community Relations, Equality and Diversity (CRED) in Schools and sat on the Bill of Rights NI Forum as well as its Economic & Social Rights Working Group. Mairéad has also been proactively involved in influencing policy and legislative developments e.g. in the areas of equality, inclusion and human rights, working in a voluntary capacity for over 10 years. She has served as a member of Belfast Education & Library Board (BELB), the Association of NI Education & Library Boards (ANIELB), the Children’s & Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP), as a School Governor in a large post primary school in Belfast, as well as Director on a number of Boards in the Community and Voluntary Sector. She is currently a member of the Chief Executive’s Forum and the Institute of Directors.
Mairéad took up post as Chief Executive on 1st February 2012 at the Office of Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, the independent human rights institution, established in 2003 to ‘Safeguard and Promote the Rights and Best Interests of Children and Young People'. She is responsible for the strategic and operational implementation of NICCY’s Corporate and Business Plans, staffing and the corporate governance of the organisation.