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5-6 October, Belfast Hilton
Hugh 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 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’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.
As 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 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.