Bob Collins

Bob Collins

Bob Collins is Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland to which position he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in August 2005.

He had previously been Director-General of RTÉ until his retirement from the post in October 2003.   He spent almost thirty years with RTÉ where the positions he held included Director of Television Programmes for RTÉ’s two national channels from 1986 to 1993 and Assistant Director-General from March 1995.  He was appointed Director-General in January 1997.

Bob Collins has had considerable engagement at a European level, having been Chairman of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) Television Committee from 1996 until 2003 and a member of the European Commission’s Steering Group on Equality in the Media among other involvements. He has written and spoken widely on broadcasting and equality matters at home and abroad.

He is a Board member of the Ulster Orchestra, the National Library of Ireland and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland.  He has just finished his term as chairman of CONNECT-WORLD a body dedicated to creating greater awareness of development issues in the media and among the public.


Sue Collins

Sue Collins

Sue Collins has over 30 years policy and practice experience in the UK Social Care field, and has a long standing interest in issues relating to disability and older people, both personally and professionally. Sue’s professional career includes service user involvement and management of community mental health and learning disabilities services in Glasgow. Before this she had set up women’s mental health services and ran a student social work unit in London. She has worked across the not for profit sector, charities and local government.

Sue leads for the JRF on how we pay for long term care for older people, both now and in the future.  More recently Sue authored the report “Options for Care Funding: what could be done now?  She also supports other JRF work in relation to empowerment covering older people, social care, disabilities and independent living.  She was the JRF lead on the Caring Choices partnership with King’s Fund, Age Concern, Help the Aged and other key stakeholders.

More recently she has joined the Independent Age Charity as a Trustee.


Ian Deary

Professor Ian Deary

Ian Deary is Professor of Differential Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the Director of The University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (funded by BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, and MRC). He graduated in Psychology and Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and studied there for his PhD. He practised psychiatry in London and Edinburgh before moving to academic psychology. His principal research interest is human mental abilities, especially the origins of cognitive differences, the effects of ageing and medical conditions on mental skills, and the impact of cognitive differences on people's lives. He is an elected fellow of the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

James Goodwin

Professor James Goodwin

Head of Research Age Concern Help the Aged England

Professor Goodwin is the recently appointed Head of Research in the newly merged charity, Age Concern and Help the Aged.  The mission of the new charity, the largest in the UK, is to improve the lives of older people.

He holds a visiting professorship at Loughborough University in the Department of Human Sciences.  He is a member of the advisory board of the journal ‘Ageing Horizons’ at Oxford University and a member of the editorial board of ‘Quality in Ageing’.  He sits on numerous expert bodies, including the UN Research Agenda for Ageing panel, the UN Digital Health Group, a WHO Advisory Group, scientific advisory panels of the research councils and is Chair of the Halcyon Knowledge Transfer Steering Committee at UCL.  He presented evidence to the House of Lords Inquiry on the Scientific Aspects of Ageing (Select Committee on Science and Technology) in 2005 and in 2009; and to a US Congressional hearing in 2006.  He chairs the Steering Committee for Health Forecasting and Older People and is a member of the Health Research Scientific Committee at the UK Met Office

Dr Goodwin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Keele University, UK.  After graduation he read for a Master’s in Human Physiology at Loughborough University and then for a PhD in climatic physiology at the Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter.   His research area was the effects of temperature variations on the autonomic cardiovascular responses of older people, an area highly relevant to the issue of climate change and older people’s health.  After 15 years in the university sector he was appointed as Head of Research at the Help the Aged in 2002.  His other area of expertise is knowledge transfer, sitting on the advisory Board of KT-EQUAL, as a panel member of the LLHW Programme and as an adviser to Imperial College on their age-related research in the Faculty of Engineering.


Jeremy Harbison

Dr Jeremy Harbison

Dr Jeremy Harbison graduated in Psychology from Queens University in 1964 and completed a D. Phil in the same subject at the University of Ulster in 1983. After a ten year spell as a Clinical and Research Psychologist with Belfast City Hospital and Queens he joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service in 1974. He has held the post of Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health and Social services, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Social Development. He is currently Chair of the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and Honorary Vice President of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action.

Dame Joan Harbison

Dame Joan Harbison

Dame Joan Harbison, DBE, Hon LL.D was appointed as Older People's Advocate on 3 November 2008, pending the establishment of a full Commissioner for Older People. A teacher and lecturer professionally, she has extensive experience of public and voluntary service in Northern Ireland.

She was the Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland until July 2006 and previously vice chair of the Eastern Health and Social Services Board and the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights (SACHR). She was also a member of the General Dental Council for the United Kingdom and of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, as well as serving on the Financial Services Authority Consumer Advisory Panel.

Dame Joan was actively involved in the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) for many years and was its Chair from 1994 to 1995; she is currently a member of the Judicial Appointments Commission for Northern Ireland and the HPSS Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority.

She was awarded a CBE in 1992 and was knighted as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 for her contributions to Northern Ireland.

In 2005 she received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LL.D) for her contributions to public life in Northern Ireland.

Rose Anne Kenny

Professor Rose Anne Kenny

Professor Rose Anne Kenny is Head of the academic Department of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and St. James's Hospital. She is Director of the new Falls and Blackout Unit at St. James's Hospital, Director of the new Centre for Successful Ageing and is visiting Professor of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Formerly Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Institute for Ageing & Health, Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, she has been a world leader in research into cardiovascular and mobility disorders in ageing. She has published in excess of 200 papers, 40 book chapters and 3 text books and currently chairs the Falls Prevention Working Party for the American and British Geriatric Societies and the National Falls collaborative Working Group in Ireland. She has presented her field on international groups for heart failure, syncope and falls. Since her appointment at Trinity College (Oct 2005) she is: (1) Lead PI for the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) (2) Lead PI for the falls strand in Intel/IDA inter institututional research collaboration with colleagues at UCG, UCD, TCD and DCU (3) Lead PI for HRB programme investigating why older people with mild cognitive impairment conver to dementia. (4) Member of the academic board of the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS) (5) Chairing the falls group for the National Falls Collaborative

Ken Logue

Dr Ken Logue

The Atlantic Philanthropies, Programme Executive Ageing, Belfast

Ken is Programme Executive in Belfast for The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Ageing Programme.  The programme has funded a range of projects that aim to improve older people’s economic and health security through advocacy and social action, including the Changing Ageing Partnership.  Ken has worked in the voluntary and community sectors in a variety of roles, including heading the WEA in SE Scotland.  Prior to joining Atlantic as Programme Executive, initially for the reconciliation, peace-building and voluntary sector programmes, he undertook independent research, evaluation and consultancy in Northern Ireland in community development and community relations issues.  He was co- author of Community Development in Northern Ireland:  Perspectives for the Future (Belfast, 1992). He has served on the boards of a range of NGOs including NICVA, Home Start, Newbattle Abbey College, and War on Want NI.  He holds a PhD in Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh.


James McCarthy

Professor James McCarthy

Baruch College, The City University of New York

James McCarthy is the Provost and Senior Vice President at Baruch College of the City University of New York.  As Provost, he is the chief academic officer for Baruch, which is a major public, urban university with more than 15,500 students and 500 faculty, involved in undergraduate and graduate education in three schools: the Zicklin School of Business, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Public Affairs. Baruch, in turn, is a College within the City University of  New York, which enrolls more than 250,000 students in degree-granting programs offered by its 23 Schools and Colleges.

Prior to joining Baruch in 2008, he was Dean of the School of Health and Human Services and Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire.   From 1988 to 2001, he was Director of the Center for Population and Family Health at Columbia University, and the Heilbrunn Professor of Public Health in Columbia’s School of Public Health.   He has also been on staff at Trinity College Dublin, the Johns Hopkins University, and Princeton University; has worked and conducted research in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the United States; and has published widely on community, adolescent and reproductive health issues.  He received a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1977, and an A.B. from Holy Cross in 1971. 

He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, on the National Board of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (and on its CEO Search Committee), and on the boards of several New Hampshire organizations, including the Manchester Community Health Center, the Foundation for Healthy Communities, the New Hampshire Area Health Education Council, and as Director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Task Force of the New Hampshire Citizen’s Health Initiative.

 Steve McConnell

Dr Steve Mc Connell

The Atlantic Philanthropies, New York Office

Stephen McConnell currently heads up U.S. policy and advocacy within the aging program of the Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation dedicated to social justice issues. Prior to joining the foundation in July 2008, Dr. McConnell was Vice President for Advocacy and Public Policy for the Alzheimer’s Association, where he directed the Association's Washington, DC based policy office.  Dr. McConnell also served as interim CEO for the Alzheimer’s Association in 2002 and directed the Association’s program division from 2000-2002.  Before joining the Alzheimer’s Association, Dr. McConnell spent seven years on Capitol Hill, as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging under the chairmanship of Sen. John Heinz and as a professional staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on Aging, under the chairmanship of Rep. Claude Pepper.   He also directed a national issue campaign on long term care during the 1988 Presidential election cycle.  Before coming to Washington in 1980, Dr. McConnell held a research associate appointment in the Andrus Gerontology Center of the University of Southern California.  He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Southern California.

 Brendan McCormack

Professor Brendan McCormack
D.Phil (Oxon.), BSc (Hons.), PGCEA, RNT, RMN, RGN

Professor of Nursing Research and Postgraduate Tutor, Institute of Nursing Research/School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland; Adjunct Professor of Nursing, University of Technology, Sydney; Adjunct Professor of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Care, Monash University, Melbourne

Brendan is Professor of Nursing Research and Practice Development and Postgraduate Tutor in the Institute of Nursing Research, University of Ulster.  He leads a number of practice development and research projects in Ireland, the UK, Europe and Australia that focus on the development of person-centred practice.  In addition he is the leader of the Institute of Nursing Research ‘Working with Older People’ Recognised Research Group, coordinating research and development activity in this area.  His writing and research work focuses on gerontological nursing, person-centred nursing and practice development and he serves on a number of editorial boards, policy committees, and development groups in these areas.  His most recent work has been leading the development of the ‘Northern Ireland Single Assessment Tool’ for older people in Northern Ireland – unique to the UK, because of its integrated health and social care foundation.  He has a particular focus on the use of arts and creativity in healthcare research and development.  Brendan has more than 90 peer-reviewed publications as well as 5 books published and in progress.  He is the co-editor of the “International Journal of Older People Nursing”.  He has co-authored Practice Development in Nursing which has now been translated into two languages and Practice Development in Nursing: International Perspectives (published 2008). His most recent book, co-authored with Professor Tanya McCance ‘Person-centred Nursing’ is due to be published in 2010.  Brendan has been appointed as a standing member of Sigma Theta Tau’s Global Health Advisory Council, President of the All-Ireland Gerontological Nurses Association [AIGNA] and Chairman of the new charity 'Age Concern Help the Aged NI'.

Chris Phillipson

Professor Chris Phillipson

Chris Phillipson is Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Gerontology, at Keele University where he is currently Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning & Academic Development). Previous posts at Keele include Research Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Dean of Postgraduate Affairs for the University. His disciplinary background is Sociology where he has specialised in the field of ageing. He has held a number of grants with colleagues with the ESRC, with substantial funding held under the Population and Household Change, Growing Older, and Cultures of Consumption Programmes. Recent books include: The Family and Community of Older People (co-authored, Routledge), Social Networks and Social Exclusion (co-edited, Ashgate), Growing Older in Socially Deprived Areas (co-authored, Help the Aged), Globalization, Inequality and Ageing (co-edited, Baywood), and The Futures of Ageing (co-edited, Sage). He is Past-President of the British Society of Gerontology and a former Vice-Chair of the Training and Development Board of the Economic and Social Research Council.

 Dave Rogers

Mr Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is Head of Research and Evaluation at the Department for Employment and Learning and is also the Department’s Senior Statistician. He has been working on labour markets for  most of the past 15 years and is currently editor of the Department’s Labour Market Bulletin. He has degrees in Geography from the Universities of Liverpool (whence he hails) and Durham. His early career was at the New University of Ulster until he joined the NI government’s statistical service (now the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) in 1985. In NISRA he has held a range of posts working on, amongst other things, equality statistics; prison statistics; and drug and alcohol research. He also worked for five years on loan to the Probation Board for Northern Ireland to head up their information and research unit.


Susanne Sorensen

Dr Susanne Sorensen

Dr Susanne Sorensen grew up in Denmark and was educated at University of Copenhagen to PhD level in biochemistry. She worked in a number of universities in UK over a period of 18 years specialising in enzymes of the small intestine and digestive problems before changing to research funding administration. Susanne greatly enjoyed working with the ageing research community when employed by Research into Ageing and Help the Aged. Susanne has been Head of Research for the last five years in Alzheimer’s Society and has found this her most challenging job yet. It has been exciting playing a small part in raising the profile of dementia and dementia research and working with the carers and people with dementia in developing the dementia research programme. There is still so much to do.
Susanne is married with one grown up son and lives in Hertfordshire.