Northern Ireland Conference - Speakers

17 October, Stormont Hotel, Belfast

N Ireland Conference 2019

Join the discussion: #CIPFANI19 

Sue Grey

Sue Gray

Permanent Secretary for the Department of Finance, Northern Ireland Civil Service

Sue transferred from the Cabinet Office to take up the role of Permanent Secretary in the Department of Finance in May 2018. The Department of Finance is responsible for managing the public expenditure of NICS departments and supporting the appropriate allocation of the funding available from HM Treasury. It also provides a range of corporate services to NICS Departments, including HR, finance, ICT, legal and statistical services, accommodation and estate management.

Sue's previous role was Director General of Propriety and Ethics and the Private Office Group where her responsibilities included policy and advice on standards and ethics issues, including the Ministerial, Civil Service and Special Advisers Codes of Conduct. Additionally, Sue was responsible for Public Appointments and Honours, and Freedom of Information policy.

Richard Pengelly

Richard Pengelly

Permanent Secretary for Health, Northern Ireland Civil Service

Richard Pengelly was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, on 1 July 2014.  Prior to this Richard‘s previous post was as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Regional Development (DRD).

Richard is a chartered accountant, and before joining the Department for Finance and Personnel in 1998 he worked in the Northern Ireland Audit Office and in private accounting practice. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from Warwick University.

Graham Atkins

Researcher, Institute for Government

Graham AtkinsGraham Atkins is a researcher at the Institute for Government, working on Performance Tracker, the Institute’s annual data-driven assessment of the government’s performance in running public services. Prior to that, he worked on projects about infrastructure policy-making and private finance. 

Before joining, he worked at a public sector consultancy, DragonGate, on a range of projects for local government and the broader public sector.

William Crawley

William Crawley

Journalist and Broadcaster

William Crawley is a journalist and broadcaster with the BBC presenting TV and radio programmes on subjects as varied as news and politics, arts and science, religion and ethics. He is the presenter of Talkback, a daily radio phone-in show on BBC Radio Ulster  and has many programmes to his credit, Sunday Sequence, The Book Programme, Big Bang Theory, Heart and Soul, The Man Who Shrank The World to name but a few. His television work for the BBC includes the landmark natural history series Blueprint; the interview series William Crawley Meets and writing and presenting a variety of TV documentaries on history and politics, such as The Ulster Covenant.

Tim Ellis

Tim Ellis

Deputy Director, Performance and Outcomes, Scottish Government

Tim heads the Performance and Outcomes division within the Scottish Exchequer, part of the Scottish Government. The division aims to improve the coherence, alignment and impact of government strategy, through its specific responsibilities for the production and monitoring of the annual Programme for Government (PfG); for analytical work on strategic challenges and opportunities; and for performance against the national outcomes set out in Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Scott Mahony

Economic Advisor, Public Health England

Scott MahonyScott Mahony is an Economic Advisor within Public Health England’s Strategy Directorate. He has worked across numerous projects aimed at enabling local system partners to make informed decisions on which public health services provide the greatest value for their populations. 

Before joining PHE, Scott was part of the Public Health Intelligence Team for Kirklees Council. He has also held numerous health focused roles in the private sector.


Catherine McFarland

Chair, CIPFA Northern Ireland Branch

Catherine-McFarlandCatherine is a Director of Finance, Audit & Assurance at The Northern Ireland Housing Executive with the recent addition of responsibility for ICT. Prior to this she has been working at a senior level in local government with responsibility for delivering major change programmes. Her most recent post included the merger of councils under the Review of Public Administration. Catherine is a member of the governing body of North West Regional College where she chairs the staffing committee and is a guest lecturer for the University of Ulster on the Masters in Innovation Programme.

Alastair McKinley

Alastair McKinley

Chief Technology Officer, Analytics Engine

Alastair is the Chief Technology Officer at Analytics Engines where he is responsible for technology strategy, solution architecture and innovation. Alastair gained his PhD from QUB in 2009 focusing on high-performance computing and algorithms used in telecommunications. He is interested in data modelling and data engineering in PostgreSQL and Python, Cloud Native solution architecture and NLP applications.

Carolyn Williamson

President, CIPFA

Carolyn WilliamsonCarolyn is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources for Hampshire County Council and is responsible for the Corporate Services Shared Partnership arrangement covering the county council, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, Oxfordshire County Council, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council which encompasses finance, HR and transactional services to the partners. This is a unique arrangement which operates across the public sector with joint governance arrangements and a cost sharing arrangement to underpin the partnership. Carolyn is CIPFA-qualified since 1991 and a member of CIPFA Council since 2013.

Also – to come shortly

  • Dr Alastair McKinley – Analytics Engines
  • Jennie Barugh – Director for Performance and Strategic Outcomes, Scottish Government
  • Claire Loftus – Evolve