Mallon announces appointment of the Chair to the Board of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC)

Date published: 11 February 2021

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, has announced the appointment of Dr Michael Wardlow as Chair of the Board of the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (Translink).

Minister Mallon said:

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Wardlow as the new Chair of Translink.  Michael will be taking up his role at a critical time for our public transport network, a time when we must do all we can in the short term to ensure safe public transport for those who rely on it for essential journeys while also mapping out how we plan and deliver a world-class public transport network which fulfils the requirements for a greener and more sustainable future.  

"The challenges facing the company are very clear but so too are the opportunities and I am committed to working with Michael and his Board to ensure that Translink plays a full role in our Covid recovery; in improving connectivity across this island; and in addressing the climate emergency.”

Minister Mallon continued:

“I would like also to take this opportunity to put on record my thanks to Dr Mark Sweeney who stepped in to fill the position of Chair on an interim basis while the public appointment process took place and to the other NITHC Board members whose leadership, dedication and commitment to public transport have been so apparent, particularly over this past year.”

Dr Wardlow’s appointment will take effect from 1 March 2021 and will be for a maximum of four years.

This appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company (NITHC) is a Public Corporation which was established by the Transport Act (NI) 1967. Its responsibilities include holding and managing property assets and the oversight, in terms of support, control and supervision, of its private limited subsidiary companies, the principal ones being Ulsterbus, Metro (previously Citybus) and Northern Ireland Railways, trading jointly as Translink.  It is expected to operate commercially and has a duty to operate in line with Ministerial policy. 
  2. The Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company currently have a membership of an Interim Chair, three Executive Members and four Non Executive Members.  The Chair of the NITHC Board currently receives remuneration of £36,418 per annum.
  3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of an appointee to be published. Dr Wardlow has declared that he has not undertaken any political activity.
  4. Dr Michael Wardlow was most recently the Chief Commissioner for the Equality Commission for N Ireland, from March 2012 to February 2020. Before joining the Commission he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education a post he held from 1995.  He is currently Chair of the NI Police Fund, for which he receives remuneration of £6,000 per annum, Chair of the Public Sector Chairs’ Forum and Chair of Corrymeela Community (not remunerated). Prior to this, following seven years in commerce, the majority of his work experience, both paid and in a voluntary capacity, was in the area of peace building and reconciliation. He is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute.  Michael is also a Visiting Scholar in George Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Dr Wardlow will bring the following experience to the NITHC post:  leadership, commercial, financial, board membership, strategy development and delivery and governance.
  5. All media queries in relation to the Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office by e-mailing:
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  7. Follow the Department for Infrastructure on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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