Marine Institute

Board Members

Photo of Chairman Dr John Killeen.

Dr John Killeen (2014 - 2019) (2019 - 2024)

Dr John Killeen is an engineer and a native of Co Roscommon who became an Honorary Freeman of Galway City in 2012. His career spans working with Local Government with a multi-national construction company that built the Grand Canal tunnel in Dublin in 1973 and seven years with Shell International subsidiary. Dr Killeen was President of Engineers Ireland 1995-1996 and was founding President of the Academy of Engineering in Ireland in 1996-1998. He is a retired CEO of Colas Group in Ireland and retired Managing Director of Cold Chon Galway Ltd.

In 2009, he was Chairman of the Volvo Ocean Race event in Galway. In 2012, he was President of the Volvo Ocean Race Festival and finale which broke all attendance records for a sporting event in Ireland, valued at approximately €80m in tourism and business income to the city. Dr Killeen is Chairman of the Saolta University Health Care Group and President of the Timoney Leadership Institute - a charity that promotes International leadership training for Irish CEOs.

Prof. Patricia Barker (2013 - 2018) (2018 - 2023)Photo of board member Prof. Patricia Barker.

Prof Barker is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and qualified in 1973. Prof Barker completed an MPhil in Gender Studies in Trinity College Dublin. Her PhD developed a paradigm of disclosure of financial information to employees in organisations. She served her articles with Stokes Bros. & Pim in Dublin and worked for Peat Marwick Mitchell in Manchester. She later became a partner in an accounting practice in Manchester for six years and worked in Manchester University as a principal lecturer. 

Patricia was appointed lecturer in Dublin City University (DCU) in 1980 and progressed through senior lecturer, Associate Dean (Business School) and University Vice-President (Academic). She has worked as a visiting professor in universities in New York, Boston, Angers, Malawi, Dares Salaam, Sydney and Cape Town and has been an external examiner for universities and professional bodies.

She served as Chairman of the Chartered Accountants' Accounting Committee for twenty years and was a member of the Council of Chartered Accountants for four years in the 1990s and again for five years in the 2010s. She represented Ireland on the Accounting Standards Board in London for nine years and chaired the expert group reporting to the European Union on the role, structure and functions of the European Court of Auditors. She had several tours of duty as Election Supervisor for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Ireland (OSCE) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republica Serpska, South Africa, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Malawi and Belarus. 

Patricia worked as a Human Rights Monitor in Israel and Palestine. She has been a member of the Boards of Women’s Aid, the Sonas Housing Association, the National Chamber Choir and the Higher Education Authority (chairing the Audit Committee), and was Chairperson of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service for three years. 

She is currently a Director of Dublin Bus Ltd. and Tallaght Hospital chairing their Audit Committees. In addition, she is Chair of the Education Board of Chartered Accountants Ireland. In addition she is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for the Marine Institute. She is currently a voluntary counsellor and trainer for the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. She has written books on group accounting, flexible working in the profession and more recently on women who have succeeded in the accountancy profession, as well as on corporate governance and professional ethics.   

Dermot Clohessy B.Sc Eng (2015 - 2020)Dermot Clohessy

Mr Dermot Clohessy (BSc Eng.) is an engineer by profession with postgraduate qualifications in both business strategy and finance. He has an extensive understanding of foreign direct investment (FDI) having worked for 28 years with IDA Ireland.

Dermot was the IDA's Executive Director/COO from 2006 to 2015 and was directly involved in the development and successful implementation of the IDA's corporate strategies during this period. His broad responsibilities included expanding the global markets in which Ireland competes for investment and developing new business areas for FDI into Ireland.

Dermot was a member and a sub-committee chairman of the Development Task Force established to support the implementation of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – an integrated marine plan for Ireland.

He is now a consultant, working internationally on business development strategies for both the private sector and government bodies. He is a strategic advisor with the Ireland-based International Development Ireland (IDI) - IDI works with governments on the practical implementation of projects of national strategic importance which underpin economic development.

Prof Alan DobsonProf. Alan Dobson (2015 - 2020)

Professor Dobson studied biochemistry at NUI Galway and following his PhD, worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Prof Dobson then moved to the School of Microbiology at University College Cork (UCC), where he is currently Chair of Environmental Microbiology.

From 2005 to 2014, Prof Dobson was Director of the Environmental Research Institute at UCC. His main research interest focuses on the study of microorganisms in marine and terrestrial environments and their potential biotechnological exploitation. His research group has published numerous scientific papers in this area.

Prof Dobson was a Fulbright scholar in 1992 and was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Medal in Microbiology in 1999. He was subsequently awarded a DSc in Microbiology & Molecular Biology in 2005 from the National University of Ireland, and was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in 2013.

Prof Dobson was a member of the European Space Agency's Life and Physical Science Advisory Committee (LPSC) from 2003 to 2005. From 2009 to 2012, he was a member of the panel of experts that advised the then Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish government, Professor Patrick Cunningham.

He has also been a member of the working group that prepared the European Science Foundation and Marine Board position paper Marine Biotechnology: A European Strategy in 2010 and has been a member of External Review Working Group (ERWG), monitoring the quality of the scientific outputs of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (2012-2015). He was a member of the International Advisory Group of the Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET (ERA-MarineBiotech) from 2013-2017 and is currently a board member of the International Marine Biotechnology Association.

Prof J Owen LewisProf J Owen Lewis (2015 - 2020) BArch(NUI) MSc(Manch) FRIAI FCIBSE FEI Eurlng CEng MIEI

Professor Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Architectural Science, University College Dublin (UCD). He is President of the Royal Dublin Society, and a member of the Board of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Professor Lewis is a former Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) (2009 – 2012) and was Chair of the inter-departmental and inter-agency Ocean Energy Steering Committee. As a qualified architect, engineer and energy technologist, he has practised professionally in Ireland, England and Zambia. Prof Lewis was Executive Director for Innovation and R&D at Bord na Móna from 2006 to 2008. He was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at UCD and later, Principal of the UCD College of Engineering, Mathematical & Physical Sciences 2001 – 2006; and was Director of the UCD Energy Research Group from 1974 to 2008. He has published about 200 papers and books as author, joint-author or editor. Expert advisor to the European Commission, and coordinator of various European Commission energy R&D projects 1986 – 2003, with sub-contractors in all member states. In 1976, Prof Lewis co-founded the Solar Energy Society of Ireland.

Photo of board member Lorcán Ó Cinnéide.

 Lorcán Ó Cinnéide (2010 - 2015) (2015 - 2020)

Mr Lorcán Ó Cinnéide is currently Manager of the OPW owned Blasket Centre (Ionad an Bhlascaoid) and the state lands on the Great Blasket Island off the Dingle Peninsula, Co Kerry. He has had extensive previous involvement in the seafood industry including roles as National Secretary of the Irish Fish Processors and Exporters Association (IFPEA), CEO of the Irish Fish Producers Organisation (IFPO), board member of the European Fish Processors Association (AIPCE), board member of the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB) and a member of various other national and EU fisheries management bodies.

A former fishing vessel owner, Mr Ó Cinnéide has a degree in Economics and Politics from Trinity College Dublin. This is his second term as a board member of the Marine Institute. He is a former chairman of the Institute's Strategy Development Sub-group and of its Internal Audit Committee.

Dr. Berna Grist B.L

Dr. Berna Grist B.L. (2015 - 2018) (2018 - 2023)

Dr. Berna Grist B.L., a barrister and chartered town planner, is Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. She holds a PhD from the University of Ulster on The Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Development in the Republic of Ireland and has published widely in the fields of planning and environmental law, public policy and governance. Together with the late James Macken SC, she co-edited the Irish Planning Law Factbook (2003), which she continues to update annually, and in 2012 she published the second edition of An Introduction to Irish Planning Law.

Dr. Grist was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board on its establishment in 1998. During the period 2001-2006, she served as a member of An Bord Pleanála and, in 2013, she was appointed to the Expert Group advising the Minister for Housing and Planning on a successor to the National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020. She has contributed to a number of environmental research projects sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and is a member of the Irish Environmental Law Association.

Mr David Owens (2012 - 2018) (2018 - 2023)Photo of board member David Owens.

Mr David Owens (F.C.A) is currently Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations for SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI). Prior to joining SolarWinds, Mr. Owens worked for Red Hat, Inc., an enterprise software company, for over seven years, where he served initially as Director of Global Logistics and Production and then as Senior Director of Finance- EMEA.

Mr. Owens qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Photo of board member Donal Kelly.

Mr Donal Kelly (2013 - 2018) (2018 - 2023)

Mr Donal Kelly is Managing Director of Fast Fish Ltd, a successful fish sales and oil supply business based in Castletownbere. Mr Kelly served on the Celtic Sea Herring Management Committee for 10 years and on the West Pelagic Committee for 3 years.

Mr Kelly has served on a number of boards, both in the private and voluntary sector, including the Cork County Community and Voluntary Forum and the Cork County Development Board and has acted as Chairman of Castletownbere GAA Management Committee. He is also a member of Berehaven Golf Club and the Castletownbere Community Development Association.