Board of Directors

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The Board’s key role is to set the strategic direction of Comhlámh and monitor its effectiveness. More information on the duties and responsibilities of the Board can be read in our constitution.

Kathleen Cass is qualified as a solicitor and has worked for 14 years as executive director of CODATA in Paris, a network of 23 member countries whose mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use.  She has recently volunteered and later worked with the VSO in Cambodia on governance programming.  She was elected chair of Comhlámh in 2017.


Ellen Donnelly has a background in youth work, which led her to various roles supporting cross cultural youth volunteer teams in UK, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and India between 2010 – 2013. She completed an MSc in Global Health at Trinity. She has also been involved in development education and campaigning with a number of NGOs during that time; including VSO, Suas and Comhlámh. She is the vice-chair of Comhlámh since 2016.


Lebam Macaw is an Occupational Therapist. She has worked as a ‘hands on’ therapist and as a senior manager involved in the strategic management of service provision for various organisations. She is a member of Visual Artists Ireland and the Writers Centre Ireland.


Jim Egan is a Chartered Accountant and Qualified Financial Advisor.  He has over 40 years experience in business and financial services.  He previously worked for ICC Bank (Ireland’s Development Bank).  He spent over 6 years in Central Asia where he was centrally involved in the establishment of 2 new financial institutions in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.  Both institutions had a development mandate and the bank in Tajikistan had a primary focus on poverty alleviation through the provision of micro finance loans mainly to women’s groups and micro businesses. He is the Treasurer and Risk Officer of Comhlámh since 2016.


Chris O’Donoghue is a founding member of Serve in Solidarity Ireland set up in 2003. He has worked as a fundraising and events manager for SERVE.  He has a background in human rights and youth work with experience of international safeguarding training.  He has been actively involved in the Code of Good Practice for Volunteer Sending Agencies with Comhlamh since its inception and planning in 2006. He holds a BA in international studies from Kimmage Development Studies centre.


Ellen Regan is a primary school teacher currently studying for a PhD, researching the life histories of Irish female international volunteers in the mid-late twentieth century in UCD.  She has worked in Malawi, India and Haiti as teacher trainer and education consultant. She also has experience of facilitating pre-departure trainings and leading student volunteering programmes.


Bianca van Bavel is working in the area of global health where she has experience conducting research within the Indonesian, Ugandan, Kenyan, Canadian, and Irish healthcare systems. She is currently involved with the Irish Forum for Global Health (IFGH) and the Development Studies Association of Ireland (DSAI) to support the need for increased awareness and available resources that guide students engaged in international work/study/research and volunteering. Bianca was active in the Code of Good Practice Review Working group in 2015 that produced the current edition of the Code of good Practice.


Michael Hanly has worked for over 20 years in international volunteering and development including Concern Worldwide, Vincentian Lay Missionaries and currently Edmund Rice Development. He has experience in programme and donor management of NGO overseas programmes, strategic planning and organisational development. He is an active member of the Comhlámh Ireland Says Welcome group, and was previously a staff and board member of Comhlámh in the 1990’s


 Lucky Khambule is from South Africa where he had a career in the insurance industry as an administrator and customer service manager. He was also involved in other community development with youth and the elderly. Currently he is an organiser, campaigner and activist for the rights of asylum seekers, migrants and refugee communities in Ireland. He is one of the founder members of the group called MASI-Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland. Lucky served in Cork City Council as Public Participation Network member on social inclusion in 2015.


Mary Purcell has a long track record with Comhlámh and a great deal of experience in international development and the management of NGOs. She has been associated with Comhlámh since the 1980’s after working as a volunteer development worker in India. Since then she has worked with Christian Aid, Trocaire, Irish Aid and Progressio Ireland in various capacities. She is currently teaching a Human Rights course in UCD and a Development Studies course in Ballsbridge College.


 

 

 

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