NSAI Board Members
James Kennedy, NSAI Chairman
Mr Kennedy has extensive experience at senior management level, having enjoyed a distinguished career in the facilities management, food, multinational healthcare and agri-services industries in Ireland. He currently serves as Chair of the Board and Director of Fraysen Systems Limited, which specialises in computerised performance management systems for the precision electronics, medical devices and consumer product industries.
In previous roles, Mr Kennedy served as interim CEO of Horse Sport Ireland, Vice President of European Operations with Bausch & Lomb Inc and Chief Executive of Thomas McDonogh & Sons Ltd. He has also served as President of the Chambers of Commerce of Waterford; the South-East region and Ireland. A science graduate of University College Cork, he is a native of Co Limerick.
Geraldine Larkin, NSAI Chief Executive
Geraldine Larkin was appointed as NSAI Chief Executive in February 2017, having previously held the position of CEO for the Irish Greyhound Board and the Private Security Authority. She also worked for the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform over ten years.
Geraldine holds an MBA degree in Technology Management from Open University. She graduated from the Institute of Public Administration in Dublin in 1992 with a BA in Public Administration.
Valerie has been a Director of NSAI since May 2014, and, to facilitate the early departure of the former CEO of NSAI, held the position of CEO on an interim basis from December 2016 to February 2017. She is also a member of its Governance Committee, and, in January 2017 was appointed to the Board of NSAI Inc, its US subsidiary. She also holds non-executive Director roles with the Investor Compensation Company Limited, as well as the Financial Services Ombudsman.
Prior to these roles, at executive level, Valerie has extensive compliance and regulatory experience over more than 20 years, to include Managing Director and Country Head of Compliance - BNY Mellon, Senior Regulator - Central Bank, Senior Manager – AIB Capital Markets, and most recently Director of Regulatory Compliance at Dillon Eustace Solicitors. She holds honours degrees - Bachelor of Commerce, and Master of Business Studies, as well as a Diploma in Financial Services Law, all from UCD.
Roger was appointed to the Board in 2016 and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and serves on one of its regulatory committees. He also holds the post of 'external reviewer' with the Revenue Commissioners, adjudicating on complaints made by taxpayers. He studied economics and business at the University of Wales, graduating in 1975, before training as a chartered accountant with Coopers & Lybrand (which is now PricewaterhouseCoopers), qualifying in 1978 and going on to specialise in computer audit and consultancy.
Roger later moved on to work for Kellogg Company, a US multi-national, in various finance, tax and treasury roles and was a director of various Kellogg European entities when he took early retirement in 2010.
Kieran was first appointed to the Board in 2009 and re-appointed in 2013 and 2016. Kieran has recently been appointed as Managing Director of Surgical Affairs with RCSI and prior to this he was Chief Executive Officer at the Irish College of General Practitioners since 2011.
Kieran previously worked as Associate Director and Surgical Research and Development Manager, with the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (RCSI) and has many years experience in clinical drug trials research having worked for ICON Clinical Research, Covance CAPs Ltd and as Clinical Trials Manager with GlaxoSmithKline Ireland. As Healthcare Practice Leader for Aon Insurance Brokers, Kieran consulted with healthcare organisations including acute hospitals, health boards, the Clinical Indemnity Scheme and long term care facilities in the development of clinical risk management and quality assurance programmes.
Prior to returning to Clinical Research at RCSI, Kieran was Director of Clinical Services at Ireland’s newest private hospitals, Hermitage Medical Clinic.
Kieran holds a M.Sc in Healthcare Ethics and Law, a M.Sc. in Healthcare Leadership and Management Development from RCSI and a B.Sc. in applied sciences (Chemistry & Mathematics) from the Dublin Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin. He undertook post-graduate research work with Novartis Pharma AG and the Institute for Organic Chemistry, University of Basel in Switzerland. He also holds a Higher Diploma in Quality in Healthcare from RCSI.
Barry Smith joined NSAI in 1993. Since 2004 he has worked in the Standards Division, his current role is primarily in the field of ICT standardization where he operates the secretariat to the national mirror committee to ISO/IEC JTC 1 “ICT Standardization”. In the past Barry has had leading roles in construction industry and energy management standardization where he led standards development projects required for the national implementation of the European standards for structural design (Eurocodes) and for Irish standards on energy management systems and energy efficient design management.
Prior to 2004, Barry worked for NSAI Certification where he was an ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems lead assessor and an ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems assessor.
First appointed to the board of NSAI in February 2013, Aideen is Deputy Head of Enforcement with the Central Bank of Ireland.
Aideen previously trained and worked as a solicitor with the commercial law firm Arthur Cox specialising in litigation and also held previous roles in business process outsourcing and policy advisory. Aideen is also a board member and former chairperson of the Irish charity The Friends of St Lukes.
Aideen is admitted as a solicitor both in Ireland, England and Wales and has a BA from University College Cork. Aideen also holds postgraduate diplomas in legal studies, finance law, white collar and regulatory crime, corporate law and governance and is currently completing her training as a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors.
Fergal O’Byrne is Head of Business Excellence Certification at NSAI. He manages a wide client base of companies who typically are certified to the Quality Management System ISO 9001 with increasing numbers adding on Occupational Health & Safety Certification OHSAS 18001/ISO 45001, the Environmental Management System ISO 14001 and ISO 27001 Information Security. Business Excellence Certification division also deals with such issues as Social Responsibility based on ISO 26000, the Human Resource Specification ‘Excellence Through People’ and PEFC Forest Management & Chain of Custody. The Client base ranges from the very small SME service companies to Ireland largest indigenous and FDI companies. The division consists of a team of 31 auditors based throughout Ireland, with audits taking place across all continents.
Fergal holds a MSc in Civil Engineering from Queens University Belfast, a Post graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety from DCU as well as qualifications in Environmental Management, European Law and Quality management systems. He represents NSAI at IQNeT the global network of National Certification Bodies and has represented Ireland on the Group of Notified Bodies for the implantation of the Construction Products Directive under the auspice of the European Commission. He is a Fellow of the Institute on Concrete Technology (UK) and maintains Lead Auditor status.
Appointed to the Board in 2016, Nina Brennan is the Principal Officer in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) with responsibility for the National Standards Authority of Ireland. This includes working on governance and oversight; strategy and policy; as well as support and Agency performance.
In addition, Nina also has responsibility for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Policy Unit within the Indigenous Enterprise Development Division. This includes monitoring and driving the implementation of the National Policy Statement, and facilitating structured dialogue between the Minister and the small business sector through the Advisory Group on Small Business. At EU level she leads on the SME Envoy, the Small Business Act and co-ordinating her Department's work on the Digital Single Market Strategy.
Nina has worked across a range of Government Policies including: Access to Finance for SMEs, Green Economy, Active Labour Market, and Consumer. She has worked in various Corporate Services functions in DJEI (Finance, HR and Management Support). She acted as the Managing Authority for the Equal Community Initiative under the European Structural Funds Programme. She has also worked in the Department of Finance and the Courts Service.
Nina holds a Bachelor of Civil Law Degree, a postgraduate diploma in Business Studies, a Masters in Economic Science (Policy Analysis) and is a qualified Barrister.
Appointed to the Board in 2014, Aidan is the past Joint Managing Director for Aalto Bio Reagents Ltd a company which supplies a broad range of purified human proteins to meet the growing biological raw material needs of the in-vitro diagnostics industry.
He is a graduate of UCD with a BSc. Hons Biochemistry and PhD Clinical Biochemistry. Aidan has a range of experience from industry development and representative bodies to the private sector. In addition, he is a former Chairman of the Small Firms Association (SFA) and is currently a council member of SFA and IBEC.
Appointed to the Board in 2014, Deirdre is a tech entrepreneur and Chartered Director of the Institute of Directors. She sits on the Governance Board of the Welcome Trust-HRB Clinical Research Facility at St. James's Hospital in Dublin, is a non-executive director of Raynaud's & Scleroderma Ireland, a registered charity, and is on several Advisory Boards. She acts as a consultant, mentor and advisor to start-up companies and SMEs both through Enterprise Ireland and Green Point Consultancy.
Deirdre also supports Going for Growth, an initiative to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses, as a Lead Entrepreneur, and is active with the DCU Ryan Academy start-up accelerator, Propeller. With a strong engineering, operations and commercial background, Deirdre was the CEO of Zandar Technologies plc from 1999, which developed award winning MultiViewer solutions for the broadcast video monitoring sector worldwide. She led Zandar through their acquisition in 2007 by Harris Corporation; a $5bn US headquartered listed company. Deirdre held various management positions with Harris, an international ICT company, until 2010.
First appointed to the Board in 2012, Terry is Microsoft Regional Standards Officer for Europe Middle East and Africa, working across a wide range of future and emerging technologies in the Information and Communications area, including Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, IT Governance and Health Informatics. He is Chairman of NSAI Inc., of NSAI’s ICT standards Consultative committee, a member of the Advisory Board of Lero ( the National Software research centre) and is also a Board member of Enable Ireland.
During the early part of his career he worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) as Senior engineer, and subsequently at Ericsson Ireland, where he served as Chief Technical Officer. In the mid-1990’s, he worked with Forfás on science and technology policy where he was secretary to Ireland’s Information Society and Technology Foresight initiatives – leading to the formation of SFI, and on EU Research agenda, including EU Framework programmes.
Terry holds a B.Sc. University College Dublin and an MBA from National University of Ireland, Galway; he is a Fellow of the Irish Computer Society.
Patrick Bracken, Secretary to the Board
Appointed as Secretary to the Board in 1997, Pat is also NSAI’s Director of Corporate Services with responsibility for a wide range of support services. Pat is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators (FCIS); Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (FCMA) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).