Northern Ireland

Invest NI appoints new chief executive

Offices in Belfast of Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI). The Economy Minister has pledged to provide certainty in the coming days about Invest NI’s ability to support new business ventures in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)
Offices in Belfast of Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI). The Economy Minister has pledged to provide certainty in the coming days about Invest NI’s ability to support new business ventures in Nort Offices in Belfast of Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI). The Economy Minister has pledged to provide certainty in the coming days about Invest NI’s ability to support new business ventures in Northern Ireland (Liam McBurney/PA)

Invest Northern Ireland has appointed a new chief executive, Kieran Donoghue.

Mr Donoghue is a member of the executive leadership team of IDA Ireland.

He is currently global head of strategy, public policy, and international financial services, and has had a long career in economic development and foreign direct investment including senior policy, planning and business development roles across a wide range of sectors.

Mr Donoghue said leading Invest NI was a “very important role”.

“I look forward to working with the staff of Invest NI, the Board, the business community and our many stakeholders, as we pivot Invest NI to deliver the recently launched action plan in response to the Independent Review of Invest NI,” he said.

Invest NI works with individuals, companies and organisations in manufacturing and tradable services to show the ambition and commitment to grow by being more innovative, more entrepreneurial and more internationally focused.

Invest NI aims to improve competitiveness, increase innovation, promote a stronger international focus and create more positive attitudes to enterprise.

Earlier this month the business support agency announced it is to shift focus from job creation to overall productivity in the economy, after an independent review found the body was having “little, if any” impact in increasing productivity in Northern Ireland.

The review panel also raised serious concerns about “damaged” relationships at the senior leadership level of the organisation, particularly in the dynamic between the board and executives.

Invest Northern Ireland
Invest Northern Ireland Offices in Belfast of Northern Ireland’s regional economic development agency, Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI/PA) 

Colm McKenna, interim chairman of Invest NI, said the organisation was “delighted” to have secured Mr Donoghue as new chief executive.

“Kieran brings a wealth of experience from a long and highly successful career in economic development and foreign direct investment,” he said.

“This is an exciting time for the organisation and we look forward to welcoming Kieran to the team when he joins us in early 2024.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Mel Chittock for his stewardship of the organisation over the last two years and to commend him on the guidance and support he has provided during that time.

“Mel will continue in the role of interim chief executive until Kieran joins us.”