Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan

Council member – Research England

Period of appointment – three years, from April 2021 to March 2024.

Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan has worked in Higher Education for 24 years. Until May 2021, she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and External Affairs) at Ulster University as well as Professor of Politics with research interests in political elites, peace processes, the politics of divided societies, public policy and governance.

She holds a first-class honours degree in politics from Queen’s University, Belfast; an MPhil in Modern Middle East Studies from Oxford University; and a PhD in History and International Affairs from Ulster University, as well as being a UK Kennedy Scholar in the JFK School of Government and Public Policy at Harvard University, USA.

Cathy has served as a Trustee, Director, Board Member or Advisor on external bodies and organisations including Innovation Ulster Ltd; Catalyst Inc; Matrix – the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel; the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe Advisory Panel; the National Executive Committee of the UK’s Political Studies Association (PSA); Universities UK’s International Research Development Network; and the UK government’s advisory body on EU Exit, Universities, Research and Innovation.

She has recently been appointed as a fiscal commissioner in the Independent Fiscal Commission for Northern Ireland to undertake a comprehensive review of the case for increasing fiscal powers available to the NI Assembly.

Cathy was awarded an OBE in 2020 for services to higher education in Northern Ireland and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Last updated: 31 March 2022

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