Patricia Lewsley-Mooney CBE (Chairperson)
Patricia is the CEO of the Northern Ireland Childminding Association from 2017 to present.
Patricia served as Commissioner for Children & Young People from January 2007-2015.
A former MLA and district councillor, Patricia has a long track record of working for children, young people and women.
She led efforts in the Assembly to put Area Child Protection Committees on a statutory basis.
She also led a successful delegation of women to Brussels to have measure 1.5 - Positive Action for Women retained in the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.
Patricia was a co-founder of Shopmobility Belfast and introduced the post of the first Disability/Equal Opportunity Officer in local government.
Patricia remarried with 5 children and 9 grandchildren and 2 step-children.
Kelly Andrews (Vice-Chairperson)
Kelly is the Chief Executive of Belfast & Lisburn Women's Aid.
Kelly is also a Trustee Board member for Connswater Homes.
Kelly served as a Commissioner on the Northern Ireland Parades Commission from 2007-2010.
She was Co-Chair of the Green Party in Northern Ireland from 2005-2009.
Kelly also held the post of National Coordinator for the Green Party Ireland and worked for Brian Wilson Green Party MLA as Constituency Office Manager.
She has held the posts of Secretary of the Green Party in North Ireland and Chair of the North Down Branch.
Kelly worked in community development for Women into Politics delivering programmes on conflict resolutions, human rights, politics and Irish history. Kelly studied English and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast.
She has an Advanced Diploma in Social Enterprise from Ulster University and Prince2 Project Management qualification.
Eileen Bell, CBE
Before entering full time politics in 1993 Eileen was engaged in a number of occupations from civil servant to General Secretary 0f the Alliance Party. She also worked as Development and Welfare Officer in the Peace People where she helped families who were under threat from paramilitary factions during the troubles.
Eileen also brought prisoners families up to the 3 prisons and helped visit their relatives when needed.
She later became C0-0rdinator of the Peace Train which ran 5 Peace Trains mostly between Dublin-Belfast but also to Glasgow and London.
The final train ran one week after the Shankill Bombing and was run at the request of the people of the Shankill Road. During those years Eileen was a member of the Suffolk Residents Association along with her husband and other members of the Suffolk Estate, a small Loyalist estate in West Belfast.
This was a very challenging time which ended with Eileen and her husband being forced out of Belfast and, on advice, moving to Bangor.
Elected to North Down as Councillor for Bangor West May 1993.
Eileen was Chair of the Community Relations and Tourism and Community Development Committees.
She represented the Council on the Local Government Association, the Probation Board, Warwick University Consortium among others Board of Visitors in Crumlin Road Jail just before its closure and was also Company Secretary on the Board of the Somme Association.
She was a delegate in the Political/Peace Talks from 1990 and was also involved in the Dublin Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and the GFA negotiations.
She held Party Portfolios in Human Rights, Community Relations. Victims and Socials issues including Children and Family.
Eileen was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 as Member for North Down and was elected to the Assembly Commission and the Education Committee and the Committee of the First and Deputy Minister’s Committee until 2005.
Later, in that year, she announced that she was standing down from her position as MLA for personal reasons. Eileen also stood down as Deputy Leader of the Alliance Party.
Eileen was subsequently approached by the then Secretary of State Peter Hain and asked to take the post of Speaker/ Presiding Officer of a Transitional N.I. Assembly while negotiations towards Full Devolution could take place in St Andrews.
She was shocked but having been assured that she was the agreed choice by the other parties, she agreed to take up the post. Eileen stood down on the attainment of Devolution after a challenging but positive year and was awarded the CBE in May 2008.
After retirement Eileen became Chairperson of Women into Politics and worked closely with TWN. Eileen is also Vice- President of Autism N.I. and Towns’Womens Guilds.
Eileen has been and still is a member of several other Boards and organisations.
Julia Flanagan is the Service and Quality Manager for Pension Wise in Northern Ireland.
A graduate of Ulster University and Queen's University, Julia has an undergraduate degree in Politics and a Masters in International Relations.
After graduating from university Julia spent some time in Washington D.C working for the American Council of Young Political Leaders. There she coordinated international exchange programs for young political leaders from the United States and around the world.
For six years Julia worked for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as a Policy Assistant and Project Manager. There she managed and coordinated a series of high-profile international conferences including a Combatting Human Trafficking conference, endorsed by Pope Francis and a number of international governments.
Julia also managed the bishops’ Parliamentary Internship Programme and has experience working with MPs of all parties in Westminster.
In a voluntary capacity, Julia is the Head of Events and Outreach for Northern Slant - an independent media organisation which exists to encourage constructive changes in Northern Irish political and civic discourse. Julia is also a contributor at Northern Slant, writing about politics in the United States.
Katherine McCloskey is the Customer Engagement and Campaigns Manager at the Housing Executive - Northern Ireland’s largest social landlord and strategic housing authority. She leads in the planning and delivery of a programme of audience-led, cross-channel communications campaigns to over 200,000 social housing tenants and applicants.
A graduate of Queens’ and Ulster University, she is an award-winning PR and policy professional with experience in the public and third sectors across Northern Ireland and the UK.
She has policy and public affairs experience in housing, criminal justice, and mainstream advice services, having previously worked for the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders, Citizens Advice, the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and Queen’s University.
Katherine was selected by the British Council as one of 50 emerging global policy leaders though the Future Leaders Connect programme for her work in criminal justice and mental health.
Maureen worked for 37 years in the Health Service, retiring as a Senior Manager within the Primary Care Directorate, Health and Social Care Board.
Maureen began her career in 1972 in Craigavon Area Hospital. She obtained an MSc in Public Procurement at the University of Ulster and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) By Exam as well as being a member of the Institute for Health and Management (IHM).
Early retirement in 2009 provided Maureen with the opportunity to set up her own consultancy business which provided management services to local businesses.
Maureen continued her business for 5 years before retiring fully in 2015.
Maureen has, for over thirty years, been a member of Soroptimist International, a worldwide organisation that works to improve the lives of women and girls.
She had held positions at local, regional and federation levels. 2020, saw Maureen elected to the position of Soroptimist International President Elect and will take on the role of President 2022-2023.
Professor John Barry
John Barry is Professor of Green Political Economy in the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queens University Belfast.
His areas of research and teaching include green moral and political theory; green and heterodox political economy; the social economy; action and engaged research and energy transitions.
He is passionate about bringing the community and university sectors closer together and using knowledge and evidence to make social change work well both as a team member and independently and enjoy challenge and taking initiative.
Rhonda is the CEO of the Men’s Advisory Project (MAP). She studied Law at Cambridge University.
Rhonda has an extensive corporate business background developing, directing multi national organisations in the UK and Ireland. She has a strong understanding of business development structuring/restructuring and HR practices and is Prince 2 Trained.
Rhonda retrained and qualified as a psychotherapist at the University of Ulster.
She has wide community and voluntary background experience having lead organisations who work with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and in areas of multiple deprivation.
She played a strategic role in the inception of the Gillen Review and was an originator of the development and delivery model of Rape Crisis in Northern Ireland
Rhonda has represented Ireland, N Ireland and Ulster in sport.
Dr Máire Braniff
Dr Máire Braniff is a senior lecturer in Political Science at Ulster
University. Between 2016 and 2018, Máire was the Director of INCORE,
Ulster University’s International Conflict Research Institute.
Máire is also a board member of Northern Ireland Community Relations
Council. She teaches and researches on the intersections between
peace, memory and violent conflict, and how they impact upon
communities, on individuals, and on relationships with power.
Máire is committed to enhancing access of opportunity to education and
training and works to promote new opportunities to widen access to