Directors

Tom Boland

Tom Boland is an international consultant focusing on higher-education and research.  In August 2016 he stepped down from his role as Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority of Ireland (HEA), ending over two decades at the most senior levels in the Irish education system.  Prior to his role in the HEA, he served as Director of Strategic Policy and legal adviser in the Department of Education and Skills.   He has been a member of the Benefacts board since December 2016.

His is currently a member of the advisory board of Asia Matters and the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and has previously served on the boards of HEAnet; IMHE – the OECD’s higher educational programme; the Fulbright Commission; the Central Applications Office and Science Foundation Ireland.  He holds degrees in Civil Engineering (NUIG), Law (King’s Inn) and was called to the Bar of Ireland (1989).

Rory Coveney

Rory Coveney is the Strategic Advisor to the Director General & Head of Strategic Partnerships in RTÉ. During the past five years Rory has helped shape RTÉ’s strategic direction during a period of profound political, technological and economic change in Ireland and within the media sector. Prior to joining RTÉ in 2007, Rory worked for a number of years in the Department of Foreign Affairs helping to communicate the value and shape the future direction of Ireland’s overseas development assistance programme, Irish Aid.

Bernie Cullinan

Bernie Cullinan is CEO of Pragma Advisory, a practice providing strategic planning and people management solutions to companies nationally and internationally. Bernie has a background in high level management of software and HR solution-oriented organisations. She joined the Board of Benefacts in December 2015 and is also a non-executive director of Crest Solutions Ltd., an Irish company providing compliance control solutions to the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. Bernie is Deputy Chairman of Science Foundation Ireland, and is a Trustee of DCU. As well as holding degrees in finance and business, she is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Emma Lane-Spollen

Emma Lane-Spollen is the CEO of the Tomar Trust where she has led the strategic development of the Trust as it spends down over 10 years. Within the area of social change and improving outcomes, Emma has worked on all sides of the table.  Within Government (seconded to DCYA to develop Better Outcomes Brighter Futures 2014-2020), statutory agencies (Tusla, Child and Family Agency), philanthropy (Deputy CEO, One Foundation; Advisor, the Tony Ryan Trust, the Tomar Trust) and NGO’s (CEO, Comhlámh and Integrating Ireland). This has given her unique insights and valuable understanding of the contributing perspectives and barriers to change. A qualified management accountant and programme manager with a post grad in Implementation Science and BA in History and Politics (TCD).

Robert Ottenhoff

Robert Ottenhoff (USA) is the President and CEO of the Center For Disaster Philanthropy in Washington DC. Prior to joining CDP, Bob spent a decade as president and CEO of GuideStar, the nationally respected, comprehensive source of reports and services on more than 1.5 million US nonprofits. He has been a member of the Benefacts board since February 2015. Bob has more than 25 years of management experience in public broadcasting and high-tech companies, including nine years as COO of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Patricia Quinn

Patricia Quinn is the founder and managing director of Benefacts. She has been working on the project intermittently since 2005 when the Irish Government and the European Commission provided funding for a pilot test of the Guidestar model in several European countries. Patricia has a background in public policy, specifically in culture and media – she was executive director of the Irish Arts Council for seven years, and before that led the cultural development initiative of Dublin’s Temple Bar area. She has served on public commissions for the newspaper and broadcasting industries, and was a member of the RTÉ (Ireland’s national broadcaster) board for five years. Besides a primary degree in history, she has qualifications in management practice and governance.

Philip Smith

Philip Smith is a partner in Arthur Cox, a leading Irish law firm, where he specialises in Charity Law and Pensions Law and is a member of the firm’s corporate social responsibility committee. He has been a member of the Benefacts board since November 2014. As coordinating partner of Arthur Cox’s Charity Law Group, he advises on the issues affecting charitable and nonprofit organisations and their directors/trustees. He provides specialist advice to a wide range of public, private and nonprofit institutions on questions associated with charity legislation, regulations, fundraising, governance and institutional structures.