Our Board

Dóchas is governed by its members, through an Annual General Meeting, which elects a Board to manage the network on behalf of the members.The Board is assisted by a Secretariat which is responsible for the day-to-day business of the organisation. Minutes from Board meetings can be found below.

The following are full members of the Dóchas Board:

  • Chairperson - Ms Sharan Kelly: Tearfund Ireland

Sharan is the current Chair of the Dóchas board. She also serves as Vice-Chair of EU-CORD Administrative Council, the European Network of Christian Relief and Development NGOs. Prior to taking up the post of CEO with Tearfund Ireland, Sharan Kelly led the development of ‘the Base’, the flagship project of the EU/NDP URBAN II Programme in the Republic of Ireland (2000-2006), a €6million capital build project and multi-disciplinary service working with children and young people. Sharan has over 18 years’ senior management experience working with NGOs supporting the most marginalised and vulnerable in Ireland and overseas. She has made representations on behalf of those most affected by poverty and injustice at various national and European levels and fora. Sharan holds an MBA (International Marketing) and a Bachelor Degree in Business Management.

  • Vice-Chairperson - Ms Siobhán McGee: ActionAid Ireland

Siobhán McGee is CEO of ActionAid Ireland since June 2015. Siobhán was elected to ActionAid’s Federation Leadership Team in 2016, the leadership team is expected to lead the transformation of power in the federation.  Siobhán previously worked with Concern, Irish Red Cross, Value Added in Africa, and a year part-time with Dóchas in 2013.  She worked in Kenya (1999-2000) and Malawi (2010-2011). From a leadership perspective Siobhán actively contributed to developing governance standards for the Irish nonprofit sector; she led the process to establish the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images & Messages in 2006 and The Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising in 2008. As well her a passion for governance and accountability, Siobhán is actively interested in education. She is a trustee of Coolmine Therapeutic Centres, the only treatment centre in Ireland to provide treatment to women with young children, and a trustee of Transparency International Ireland.

  • Treasurer and Company Secretary - Mr Peter McDevitt: Self Help Africa

Peter McDevitt is Chief Finance and Operations Officer with Self Help Africa having joined the organisation in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has 18 years’ experience working at senior management level in international NGOs. Prior to joining Self Help Africa, Peter worked as Head of Internal Audit and subsequently Chief Financial Officer in GOAL. He also undertook interim country management roles in GOAL including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Peter has served as Chair of Show Racism the Red Card, Treasurer of the Carmichael Centre and as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee of Clúid, one of Ireland’s leading social housing agencies. He has also worked in senior financial management roles with ESB International and in the financial services sector with FTI.

  • Mr Paul O'Brien: Plan International Ireland

Paul O'Brien is CEO of Plan International Ireland. With a career spanning 30 years in development and humanitarian work he has lived and worked in a number of developing countries, including: Kenya, Sudan, Liberia, Bangladesh and Tanzania.   A senior leader in Ireland’s NGO sector for the last 14 years Paul still travels extensively in his work with Plan International Ireland. Paul has served on the Board of ICVA, (the International Council for Voluntary Agencies) the global network of non-governmental organisations whose mission is to make humanitarian action more principled and effective by working collectively and independently to influence policy and practice. He was elected Chair of the ICVA Board by membership from March 2009 to March 2012. 

  • Ms Heydi Foster-Breslin: Misean Cara

Heydi Foster is the CEO of Misean Cara. She leads the organisation in its support for the development work of missionaries around the world. She manages staff and financial resources, accounts to the Board and funders, develops relationships with members and promotes internal and external communications and networking to highlight the value and impact of members’ work. Heydi is a Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights & Equality Commission, and also chairperson of Common Purpose Ireland. Heydi has led non-profit organisations in a number of countries. She holds a Masters in Non-profit Management and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  • Ms Niamh Carty: Oxfam Ireland

Niamh Carty joined Oxfam Ireland in 2005 where she is now the Director of International Programmes. In 2000, she was appointed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Irish Aid Advisory Committee where she led inter-agency work on NGOs and Capacity Building. She has also served in a variety of roles within the Oxfam International Confederation including the governance body that oversees Oxfam’s work in the Horn, East & Central Africa and in the global Gender Justice Working Group. Niamh graduated from Trinity College in 1989 with a BA in music. She also holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Hull (1997). She has worked for Irish Aid in Zambia and subsequently for Christian Aid in Dublin. She has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Irish Consortium on GBV and led the consortium’s strategic planning process in 2012. She has also served as a member of the monitoring group established to oversee the implementation of Ireland’s 1st National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325.

  • Ms Finola Finnan: Trócaire

Finola Finnan is the Deputy Executive Director of Trócaire. She joined Trócaire in 2005 and held a number of roles before being appointed the Director of Strategy, Programmes and Advocacy in 2015.  Finola has almost 30 years’ experience in strategy development, programme implementation, research and monitoring and evaluation. She has a particular interest in gender equality and health/HIV and has chaired the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence and the Catholic HIV and AIDS network and has served on the consultative group on Ireland’s 1st National Action Plan on UNSCR1325. Previously Finola worked with Oxfam Ireland, Irish Aid and Trinity College Dublin and with Ministries of Health in Zambia and in Micronesia. Finola is a former biomedical scientist and holds an MSc in Community Health from Trinity College Dublin.

  • Mr Charlie Lamson: Sightsavers

Charlie Lamson has worked to promote the strategic and financial development of non-profit organisations since 2002. He is presently the Chief Executive of Sightsavers Ireland. Prior to joining Sightsavers, Charlie served from 2005-2016 as the Head of Development with Front Line Defenders - developing and implementing the organisation’s donor engagement strategy, which focussed significantly on engagement with Government institutions and private trust & foundation funding partners located throughout Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Before joining Sightsavers Ireland, Charlie also served as the Director of Development with Dublin City University, where he developed strategies for engagement with corporate partners and major donors. He started his non-profit career in Boston working on corporate development initiatives in support of Children’s Hospital Boston. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Change and Development from Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies.  

  • Ms Louise Supple: Concern Worldwide

Louise Supple was appointed as Concern Worldwide’s Director of Human Resources in 2011. Louise joined the organisation in 1989 as a volunteer and spent the next fourteen years working across many of Concern’s overseas countries including Somalia, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Cambodia. Building on this experience, she returned to Dublin taking up the role of Regional Director where she continued to provide leadership to Concern’s work on the ground in Asia and Central Africa. This first-hand experience of working with vulnerable communities in some of the most difficult and insecure countries of the world has shaped and influenced how Louise has led and developed Concern’s human resource function and what she brings to the different working groups and networks with which she interacts.

  • Mr Gerry Egan: external member

Gerry holds a M. Sc. (Mgmt.) degree from Trinity College and a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors having completed the IoD’s Chartered Director programme in 2016. He is an active member of the IoD. Gerry held a number of senior leadership roles in Coillte, the State forestry company and was Group Director of Strategy and Governance until September 2016 as well as being Chairman and a Director of a number of subsidiary and associated companies working with partner organisations including SSE Airtricity, ESB, Bord na Móna and Roscommon Co. Council. He is currently operating as an independent consultant working with a variety of commercial and non-profit clients to improve their governance structures, processes and culture while also providing support to enhance relations with Government, develop and implement compelling strategies and improve strategic communications. An advocate of sustainable business practices and expert in environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, Gerry led Coillte to win the European Business Award for Corporate and Environmental Sustainability in 2013 and has been a judge in that competition since 2014. Gerry is also a Director of the Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups.