Commissioners are appointed to the Equality Commission by the Secretary of State, following an open recruitment exercise which is administered by the Northern Ireland Office.
Deputy Chief Commissioner
Kit Chivers CBE
Dr Michael Wardlow is the Chief Commissioner for the Equality Commission for N Ireland, a public appointment he has held since March 2012.
In September 2009 Michael set up a freelance consultancy, in which role he specialises in assisting organisations, nationally or internationally based, which are working in the broad area of equality, citizenship, cohesion, integration, peace building and reconciliation.
Until August 2009, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (www.nicie.org) a post he held from 1995. Prior to this, following 7 years in commerce, the majority of his work experience, both paid and in a voluntary capacity, has been in the area of peace building and reconciliation, focusing on youth work and leadership training.
During this time, he worked in almost 40 countries, including two years spent in Uganda, following the overthrow of Idi Amin working with the Ugandan church in community development and famine relief work and three years with the European Alliance of YMCA’s in East and Central Europe facilitating the development of the voluntary sector after the removal of the Communist regimes.
In the past decade, he has spoken at a variety of international reconciliation events and has carried out a number of evaluations of peace building projects in Europe, Asia and Africa and continues to be involved in reconciliation and peace building work both at home and on a wider scale through his membership of various committees both locally and nationally.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Theology from Queens University Belfast, as well as a Doctorate in Education, also from Queens.
Professionally, he is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. He is married with two children and lives in Belfast.
Jane Morrice worked as a journalist in Brussels covering EU affairs and a reporter for the BBC in Belfast before taking up the post of Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland in 1992. In 1998 she was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly and was appointed Deputy Speaker in 2000. She currently holds the position of NI Member of the European Economic and Social Committee. She runs her own communications and photography business and is also involved in promoting Integrated Education in Northern Ireland. She is also a member of the Board of the Salvation Army and Clic/Sargent Cancer Care.
Stella Burnside practised as a Nurse and Nurse Tutor before becoming a General Manager and then a Chief Executive in Health and Social Services in Northern Ireland retiring after forty years service. She has extensive experience of public service and currently serves as a Lay Panel member for the Bar Council of Northern Ireland and as a Deputy Lieutenant of County Londonderry. Stella has served on numerous boards in both public and charity sectors and was awarded an OBE in 2003 for her contribution to health services in Northern Ireland.
Fidelma Carolan is a Regional Officer with UNISON whose primary focus is on lifelong learning. A former President of the University of Ulster Student´s Union, she has over 15 years experience working with the women´s and youth sectors in a variety of managerial and consultancy roles. She has been an active advocate for lesbian, gay, bi and trans rights over many years and is co-author of the ´Shout - The Needs of Young LGBT People in Northern Ireland´ report. In a voluntary capacity, she is the Press Officer with the Castlewellan Agricultural Show. She holds a BA (Media & English) and Masters in Business Administration from University of Ulster and a Masters in Education from the Open University.
Anna Carragher has had a successful media career since 1970, most recently Head of Programmes for BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Northern Ireland Controller until 2006. She is a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and the Electoral Commissioner for Northern Ireland. She is also a Board member of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Kit Chivers was the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland 2003-08, and previously HM Chief Inspector of the Courts in England and Wales. Before moving to Northern Ireland he lived for many years in Brixton, an ethnically diverse area of South London, where he chaired a Neighbourhood Council and served for more than 20 years as Secretary of the Brixton Council of Churches, working on issues of homelessness, unemployment and community-police relations.
Patricia Feeney has been a teacher in secondary schools for more than thirty years. At present she is working to help pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties to remain in mainstream schools. She was a board member on Belfast Education and Library Board from 2005 until the end of 2009 and was a Commissioner on the Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland from 1991 to 1997.
Milton Kerr is a former police officer (now retired) who had responsibility for community safety in ‘G’ District (Foyle, Limavady, Strabane and Magherafelt). He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) in the 2008 New Years Honours list for distinguished service particularly in the areas of hate crime and domestic violence. He holds a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design and Masters in Business Administration from the Open University. He is currently a Commissioner with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and a Non-Executive Director with the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board (NIFRS). He is also chairman of the NIFRS Finance Committee.
Charo Lanao-Madden is a consultant, trainer, facilitator and life coach. She helps organisations and individuals to imagine possibilities, hold intentions and adapt to what lies ahead. She has provided consultancy for the private, public and voluntary sector in the UK and abroad. She has designed and delivered training on global education, interculturalism, anti-discrimination, communication skills, leadership and goal setting with individuals and teams. She has delivered facilitation for focus conversations and strategic planning. She currently works for the Centre for Global Education and has been an Equality Commissioner for Northern Ireland since August 2008.
Liam Maskey founded the Newington/Cavehill Community Services Association (NCCSA) in 1989 and is both co-founder and Director of Intercomm, a cross community project operating in North Belfast. He was a founding Member of the North Belfast Partnership Board and served on the Belfast European Partnership Board from 1997 - 2006.
Lyn McBriar is a self-employed Human Resources consultant, specialising in leadership, development and organisational change. She was formerly Regional Head of Human Resources (Northern Ireland and Isle of Man) with Marks & Spencer, where she led the human resources function during a period of significant corporate growth. She has held a variety of managerial positions in consultancy and in the private sector.
Stephen McIIveen practised as a solicitor from 1998 to 2007. Since leaving practice he has worked for a number of DUP MLAs as a researcher. He was also a legal volunteer at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights in Phnom Penh. He is a member of the Senate of Queen’s University and Chair of Convocation and is also a Councillor on Ards Borough Council.
Dermot Nesbitt retired from active politics in March 2007, returned to academia and is currently a senior lecturer in Queen´s University Management School. He held Ministerial office in the Northern Ireland Executive until its suspension in 2002 and has held public positions including Chairman of both the South Eastern Education & Library Board and the Board of Governors of Stranmillis University College. He is a former member of the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights and the European Committee of the Regions.
Peter Sheridan has been the Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland since Sept 2008. He is a former Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI (now retired) and former Chairman of the Police Benevolent Fund.
Norman Trotter has been involved in the NI business sector for over 30 years, most recently as the commercial head of the C&C Group operations in NI. As part of these operations, he has been a director of C&C Belfast Ltd, Hollywood & Donnelly Ltd and Quinns-Reihill McKeown Ltd. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, the CBI and a former Chairman of the NI Drinks Industry Group.
Murray Watt has a long experience in community development and community participation working for Supporting Communities NI after having studied and trained in housing management and administration. He is very active in the voluntary sector and is currently a director and board member of Northern Ireland Environment Link and of Community Places and currently is chairman of the Board of Sustainable Northern Ireland.