Board of Trustees
Christian Aid Ireland is a company in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland, and is governed by the boards of these two companies. The two boards operate as one board and include 8 directors who are nominated by our sponsoring churches.
Up to two directors may also serve on the Board of Christian Aid Britain and Ireland.
Rev Dr Liz Hughes (Chair)
Rev Dr Liz Hughes has recently retired as Minister of Whitehouse Presbyterian Church in Belfast, where she has served since December 2000. Liz qualified in Edinburgh as a registered general nurse and became a deaconess before taking up the ordained ministry. Liz and her husband served as missionary ministers with the United Church in Jamaica from 1987-95, fuelling her special interest in Global Mission and the learnings from the developing church context. On her return to Northern Ireland, Rev Hughes served as Associate Minister in 1st Bangor Presbyterian Church. In 2016 the Rev Hughes was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Divinity for her outstanding service, becoming only the second female Presbyterian minister to be recognised in this way. She served as Convener and Chair of the PCI Council for Global Mission from 2015 - 2022.
Ms Maeve Marnell
Maeve has been a member of the Christian Aid Ireland IFRA Committee for some years. She is a trained solicitor with experience in defence litigation. Maeve founded the charity Food For Thought Africa in 2007 and remains an Executive Trustee. From April 2017 to September 2019 Maeve was a trust of the Mission Aviation Fellowship UK. Maeve has been involved in the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education since 2016 and is currently the Chair. She is also an independent assessor for the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI.
Susan is a treasury professional with many years of experience in financial services and banking. She is a former managing director of Pfizer’s international treasury centre, based in Dublin having worked there for over 20 years before retiring in 2015. Prior to joining Pfizer, Susan worked for several years in KPMG in their audit and professional standards departments and also worked for a number of years with Kenmare Resources plc. Susan is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin with a BA in Natural Sciences and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She has a keen interest in technology. Since retiring from executive life she has taken up a number of independent non-executive director roles with various financial services entities. She is also a member of the National Treasury Management Agency. Susan lives in Dublin with her husband Ian. She is a member of the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland and has been nominated as their representative.
Very Rev Paul Draper
Dean Paul Draper was born in 1964 and attended Belmont Primary, Strandtown Primary and Sullivan Upper schools, followed by a MA Hons in English at Glasgow university before completing his studies in Theology at Trinity College Dublin. Paul became a Deacon in 1990 and Priest in 1991. His Curacy was in Omagh (Derry & Raphoe) from 1990-94, an Incumbency at Ballydehob Union (Cork, Cloyne & Ross) between 1994 and 2009, and currently Paul is Dean Of Saint Carthage’s Cathedral, Lismore and Rector of Lismore Union of Parishes. Paul is the Diocesan Director of Ordinands for Cork, Cloyne and Ross. He is also a member of the Commission on Ministry and is a Benedictine Oblate of Glenstal Abbey. He is married to Kathryn who is a music teacher, and has two daughters, Chloe and Rachael. Passions include poetry, football, art & spirituality, coffee, running, and Nordic Drama. They have been involved with Christian Aid in many different places, and Paul went with a team to Angola in 2008. The experience was very formative and a challenge to understand a “disconnect” between churches and humanitarian needs, how those needs might come into the centre of who we are, and how we evolve.
Rev Dr Livingstone Thompson
Livingstone Thompson, PhD, is theologian and an experienced diversity and inclusion trainer with specialisms in cross-cultural interactions, anti-racism training, religions and interfaith dialogue. He is a member of the Racial and Equality Sub-Group of the Northern Ireland Executive Office and Chairman of the African and Caribbean Support Organisation NI. He has worked with a variety of international companies delivering training in cultural competence and leading global virtual teams. In his over twenty years of involvement in education and training at local and international levels, Livingstone has travelled to over 50 countries. From this extensive experience, gained in cross-cultural contexts, he brings both common sense and critical learning to the areas of intercultural communication, cultural competence training and diversity management. Livingstone is minister in charge of Moravian churches in Belfast and Hillsborough, NI and serves as treasurer on the executive Board of Moravian Church, British Province
Rev Dr Laurence Graham
Laurence Graham was President of the Methodist Church 2017-18. Born in Lisburn Co Antrim in 1968, Laurence spent his first year of life in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) with his mission partner parents. Returning to Ireland he was schooled in Offaly, Donegal and Antrim. A BSc in Agriculture from Reading University led to working with the Church in Agricultural development in Haiti and Antigua. In 1997 he became a Methodist Minster having graduated with a BD from Queens University, Belfast. Laurence’s ministry has taken him to Longford, Cork and Killarney, followed by Dublin where he is Superintendent of Dublin Central Mission. He is also General Secretary of Irish Methodist World Mission Partnership, Chair of the Pioneer Mission Team of the Methodist Church and a member of the Irish Methodist World Development and Relief Committee. In 2015 he completed a PhD in the methods of mission of the Early Church and in 2022 had a book published on the relevance Early Church mission methods for the Church today.
Dr Nicola Brady
Dr Nicola Brady holds a BA in European Studies and a PhD in Hispanic Studies from Trinity College Dublin. The subject of her PhD thesis was the response of the Catholic hierarchy to political violence in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country. From 2008 to 2016 she was Research Coordinator for the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In this capacity she served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions for two terms, from 2008-2014. Since 2010 she has been a Board member of the Maximilian Kolbe Foundation, an international organisation based in Berlin working to promote peace and reconciliation and share the learning from the post-World War II Polish-German reconciliation process. In May 2016 she was appointed General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches. Nicola is now General Secretary of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Dr Aiken has many years’ experience at the most senior level in fundraising, international development and conflict prevention. He is a senior elected politician in the Ulster Unionist Party, holding the position of Chief Whip, Finance spokesperson and lead negotiator with the ongoing talks processes. Dr Aiken previously worked as CEO of Dublin City Universities Educational Trust and as the founding CEO of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, and has served on several Boards, including the British Irish Association. He remains on the management committee of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly and has a large network of contacts both in Ireland and overseas. His career spans 32 years in the Royal Navy, commanding nuclear powered submarines and working extensively in the Middle East. Over the last few years, as well as his involvement with church and the wider community he has completed a PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge in the field of international relations. Dr Aiken is a Christian and lives in Ballyclare, Antrim.
Pauline is a retired diplomat with 19 years’ experience of development cooperation programme management and policy development, including 13.5 years working in three African Counties (Ethiopia, Tanzania and Lesotho). She has an in- depth understanding of global development issues, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a strong personal interest in climate change issues. Pauline worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 11 years at Head of Mission level in two African countries (Ethiopia and Tanzania). She also has 6 years’ experience as Board Member of an important Irish faith based international development NGO. Pauline’s skills include practical experience in the implementation of change management, team development and the strengthening of personnel management systems; she has very good interpersonal and organisational skills and good financial ability and understanding. Pauline brings a results-oriented, practical, pro-active approach to work and networking gained during 30 years’ service with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Geoffrey is an independent facilitator/mediator, trainer and specialist in conflict resolution for over thirty years. He has mediated many interpersonal workplace disputes and was a family mediator for the state-run Family Mediation Service for over twenty years (1992-2015), now retired from that role. He started the first community mediation scheme in Ireland in Tallaght in 1991 and was on the founding committee of Mediation Northern Ireland. He has trained hundreds of mediators in the Republic of Ireland and indirectly has contributed to the growth of the profession in the domains of family, workplace, community, commercial and school mediation. A former Chairperson of the Mediators Institute Ireland (MII) from 1999-2002 and a founder of Facing Forward, a restorative justice group for serious crime.
Graham has 25 years senior HR / Change Mgt experience at Executive Board level in both the public and Private Sectors, acting as HR Executive Lead for several Strategic Capital projects (from £33 million to £350 million). He is a renowned "hands-on" strategic HR professional who delivered real and tangible HR solutions for business improvement. Graham was listed 3 times in ‘UK HR Most Influential’ and has a track record of success in creating and delivering environments for strategic change. Graham has demonstrated exemplary leadership of key governance; compliance and control requirements, his trademark interpersonal and communication skills renowned for effective collaborative working.
Rev Colin Darling
Colin has supported Christian Aid (and other Christian Charities) for many years. Personally he has always been attracted to causes and charities which work amongst some of the worlds’ poorest communities. He remembesr many years ago being impacted by the phrase ‘people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’. That has informed his approach to parish ministry and evangelism. If we don’t show to people in need we genuinely care, we cannot effectively spread the message of the gospel. Core Christian Aid objectives of poverty eradication, equality and social justice are high up his list of priorities. Having travelled to Sierra Leone in January 2020 with Rosamond Bennett, Rev Dr Liz Hughes and Paul Donohoe, he saw first hand how effective Christian Aid can be, how committed and talented its staff are, how rigorous are its procedures and the impact of its work in areas of genuine need. Throughout his life he has been involved with charitable work, from running marathons and cycling maracycles for fund-raising, to serving on the Ulster Bank staff charity committee, where he worked in various positions for 20 years to 2009, prior to being ordained as a Church of Ireland clergyman. He has one University aged son, love being outdoors, playing golf, cycling, skiing, walking. Donegal is one of his favourite places, along with Selhurst Park, where Crystal Palace, his team of 50 years, play its home games.
Finance and Audit Committee
Mrs Jackie Trainor
Ms Maeve Marnell
Mr Graham White
Mr Hal Hosford
Ms Gaynor Miller (Head of CA Internal Audit)
Rosamond Bennett (CEO)
Scott Smith (Head of CAI Finance and Governance)
Nominations & Procedures Committee
Rev Dr Liz Hughes
Mrs Gillian Kingston
Dr Nicola Brady (Chair)
International Programme Committee
Mr Ed O’Donovan
Mr Bob Hanna
Ms Ciara Loughney
Ms Rosaria Kunda Marron
Mr Geoffrey Corry
Mrs Pauline Conway (Chair)
Republic of Ireland
Registered charity no. 20014162. Company no. 426928
Registered charity no. XR94639. Company no. NI059154