Mallon announces appointments to the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Date published: 31 March 2021


Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has announced the appointment of eight Non-Executive Members to the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners (BHC).

Minister Mallon said:

“I am delighted to announce first term appointments for Malcolm McKibbin, Kevin Kingston, Noel Lavery, Gerard McGinn and Rose Mary Stalker and second term appointments for Jane Chambers, Diana Fitzsimons and Deborah Lange."

Minister Mallon added:

 “In the coming months and years there will be new and exciting opportunities for Belfast Port; going forward I am confident that the experience these Members bring with them will be of considerable value to the Chair of BHC and the Executive team in the task of operating, maintaining and improving the harbour, and maximising its potential as a driver for economic development."

Minister Mallon continued: 

“I want to take this opportunity to put on record my thanks to the outgoing Members, Kyle Alexander, Christine Hayes, Rotha Johnston, Gerard O’Hare, Ed Vernon and Richard Everitt.  Their contribution to Belfast Harbour Commissioners has been significant during their tenure.”

The appointments will take effect from 1 April 2021 and will be for a maximum of four years.

The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice.

Notes to editors: 

  1. Belfast Harbour Commissioners is a Public Trust Port established by legislation. The Commissioners have responsibility, under a series of Harbour Acts and Orders, for developing, maintaining and operating Belfast Port to the highest standards of efficiency, financial prudence, environmental awareness, safety and security to the benefit of all stakeholders. The Constitution of the Commissioners was established under Schedule 1 of the Belfast Harbour Order (Northern Ireland) 2002.
  2. The Belfast Harbour Commissioners currently have a membership of a Chair, an Executive Member, nine Non Executive Members, and four Councillor Members. The Non-Executive Members currently receive remuneration of £14,716 per annum.
  3. The Department for Infrastructure does not reappoint board members automatically to a second term. All appointments are made through open competition. 
  4. Mrs Diana Fitzsimons has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2016 and has considerable Board experience in Northern Ireland, the UK and further afield. In 2020 she was awarded the Institute of Directors (NI) Non-Executive Director of the Year Award for her work chairing Radius Housing Association. She holds a Master’s degree from both Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast; is a town planner and a development surveyor; and has been awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Directors.  Her career has included Belfast Office Director of the UK planning consultancy Turley; a Principal Commissioner with the Planning Appeals Commission; leading her own consultancy; and senior lecturer in town planning.  She is currently a Visiting Professor in the Built Environment at Ulster University.
  5. Ms Deborah Lange has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2016. She is a Certified Public Accountant and has held a number of senior executive positions within the accounting and high-tech sectors. Ms Lange was the Senior Vice President of Global Tax at Oracle Corporation and also chaired the Silicon Valley Tax Directors Group. She is currently Deputy Chair of the Board of Invest NI, for which she receives remuneration of £12,768 per annum. Ms Lange is also an Assessor for the Women in Business Northern Ireland Diversity Mark and was a member of the Board of the Queens University Foundation from 2017 to 2019.
  6. Mrs Jane Chambers has served on the Board of Belfast Harbour Commissioners since 2016. Mrs Chambers is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, Chartered Environmentalist and Project Manager. She has had a wide career specialising in major infrastructure and property development. Most recently she has been delivering wastewater infrastructure in the greater Dublin area and during her career, has worked on major projects including the Integrated Wastewater framework for NI Water; the Kilkeel Harbour Sea Defence; Springvale Campus, Belfast; and, Bangor Olympic Swimming Pool and Leisure Complex.
  7. Mrs Rose Mary Stalker is an experienced business leader and Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, who has held senior global positions at Executive Team and Board level, in organisations including Ford, Boeing and Rolls-Royce. She has been responsible for the delivery of multiple transformational projects in a range of disciplines; product development, programme management, manufacturing, logistics, service delivery, staffing and quality, across numerous industry sectors; aerospace, automotive, construction and energy. She is the Chair of Invest Northern Ireland, appointed in August 2019 for which she receives remuneration of £44,637 per annum, and to the Economy Minister’s Economic Advisory Group from June 2020. She is also a Member of the Department of International Trade Investment Trade Advisory Group in August 2020 (not remunerated).
  8. Sir Malcolm McKibbin was Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service from 2011 to 2017. He was the Permanent Secretary of the former Departments of Regional Development and Agriculture and Rural Development, and following his retirement led one of the five strands in the 2019 political negotiations aimed at restoring devolution. He is an Associate of Deloitte providing advice on Strategic Projects and am a member of the Board of Co-operation Ireland (not remunerated).
  9. Mr Kevin Kingston has been Chief Executive of Danske Bank since 2015, having previously been Deputy Chief Executive and Managing Director of Corporate & Business Banking. He is a former President of the NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a former Chairman of the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society. He is currently a Board Member of Invest for which he receives remuneration of £12,768 per annum.  He is also a Board Member of Business in the Community and the Maritime Belfast Trust (not remunerated).
  10. Mr Noel Lavery was the Permanent Secretary of the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, followed by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and prior to his retirement the Department for Economy, these positions were between March 2013 and November 2019.  He has nearly 20 years of experience of economic development working in public sector policy, delivery and governance roles. He trained as a chartered accountant with PriceWaterhouse and the first 15 years of his career were in the private sector. He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland since 1995.
  11. Mr Gerard McGinn is an experienced business leader. He has been CEO of financial institutions in London, Dublin, and Belfast, as well as Permanent Secretary of the Department of Education and the former Department for Regional Development. He is an Independent Non-Executive Director of both the Progressive Building Society and AXA Insurance DAC. He is the current Chair of the Strategic Investment Board, appointed in September 2013, receiving remuneration of £16,000 per annum.
  12. 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 appointees to be published. All appointees have declared that they have not undertaken any recent political activity.
  13. One further Non-Executive Member appointment will be announced in due course.
  14. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press at 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.
  15. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra.


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