CIPFA Northern Ireland Annual Conference

5-6 October, Belfast Hilton

Northern Ireland Conference

Join the discussion: #CIPFA17NI


Louise McMahon, Executive Director, Health and Social Care Board

Louise McMahon joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee and has held senior positions across health and social care in Northern Ireland. Louise worked in the health sector in Dublin for a number of years in national and regional commissioning and hospital management roles, before returning to Northern Ireland in 2010 to a director position with the Health and Social Care Board for Northern Ireland.  

Louise is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast - B.A. Hons, PGCE, continuing her professional education with the diploma in Health Service Management (DipHSM); MBA (open) and study at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Louise is companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management and represents the UK on the executive committee of the European Association of Hospital Managers.

Stephen Kenny, manager, Dundalk FC

Stephen KennyStephen currently manages Dundalk in the League of Ireland and former manager of Bohemians, Longford Town, Derry City, Dunfermline Athletic and Shamrock Rovers. He is one of Ireland's most successful ever managers having won 14 trophies by his 44th birthday, and boasts extensive experience in European competition as well as aiding in the development of several of the Republic of Ireland Euro 2016 squad. 

Dundalk became the talk of European football as a remarkable run ended with them on the cusp of playing the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United in the Champions League last season.

Hugh Widdis, interim Permanent Secretary to the Department of Finance for Northern Ireland

Hugh WiddisHugh is the ‎Head of the Government Legal Service for Northern Ireland, and Departmental Solicitor for the ‎Northern Ireland Executive. Since 3 July 2017 he has been appointed temporarily to the position of Permanent Secretary to the Department of Finance for Northern Ireland.

He has 17 years of experience in parliamentary services and government legal services. Prior to joining the Northern Ireland Executive, Hugh was Director of Legal and Governance Services for the Northern Ireland Assembly. He has previously worked in research, as a barrister in private practice and as an in-house lawyer in a leading financial services provider. He has also worked in the Scottish Parliament’s legal office, and on discrimination law in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Hugh is a barrister and member of the Bar of Ireland and the Bar of Northern Ireland.

Andrew Burns, President, CIPFA & Director of Finance and Resources Staffordshire County Council

Andrew BurnsAndrew Burns is the Director of Finance and Resources for Staffordshire County Council with strategic responsibility for finance, HR, ICT, digital, property, commercial and customer services and Treasurer of the Staffordshire Pension Fund.

Andrew led the financial transformation programme that delivered £150m savings, significant service improvement and enabled Staffordshire County Council to set the lowest council tax for any county council. 

He is currently President of CIPFA and was President of the Society of County Treasurers in 2015/16.

Gordon Marnoch, reader in public policy, Ulster University 

Gordon MarnochGordon’s main research and teaching interests are in health policy, the governance of policing and the performance and evaluation of public services. He is a Reader in public policy at Ulster University and has a long history of engagement with government in the devolved countries of Scotland and Northern Ireland. While working at the University of Aberdeen he was an adviser on a major health and community care inquiry conducted by the Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament. 

His interest in the oversight of health policy resulted in the award of an ESRC Public Services Programme Fellowship examining parliamentarians and their use of performance metrics. With colleagues in law and accountancy at the University of Glasgow he is currently running a programme of seminars on Brexit, with events taking place across the UK and Ireland.

Steve Orr, Director, Connect at Catalyst Inc

Steve OrrAs the co-founder and Director of Connect at Catalyst Inc, Steve is responsible for developing the support ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland, to create and scale innovation companies. 

Steve spent ten years prior to this in California where he co-founded Kineticom Inc, a San Diego, California-based technical talent firm in 2000. The firm ranked #33 on the Inc 500 list of the fastest-growing, privately-held US companies in 2006. 

Steve graduated from University of Northumbria with a degree in Business Information Technology.

Paul Gosling, writer, public speaker, broadcaster and researcher

Paul GoslingPaul specialises in the economy, accountancy, government and the public sector, the co-operative sector and personal finances. A freelance journalist for nearly 30 years, he has written for most quality UK and Irish national newspapers.  

He contributed the weekly Questions of Cash column for The Independent’s personal finance section for more than a decade and was published in The Independent titles for virtually every week for 26 years.   

Paul’s work has also appeared in the Financial Times, The Times, the Irish Times, the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, the Express, the Daily Telegraph, Ireland’s Sunday Business Post, the Irish Independent and in more than a hundred magazines.