Members appointed to AFBI Board

Date published: 18 November 2021

DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA, has announced the appointment of 11 new Members to the Board of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).


Mr Tom Tynan, Prof Sally Shortall, Mr Tom Wright, Mr Tim McClelland, Mr Ian Murphy, Mr Alan Moore, Mrs Daphne Johnston, Mr David Campbell have been appointed for a three year term effective from: 1 December 2021 to 30 November 2024.

Mr Martyn Blair, Mr William Montgomery and Ms Thérèse Rafferty have been appointed for a three year term effective from: 1 May 2022 to 30 April 2025

Confirming the new appointments, DAERA Minister Poots MLA said:

“I welcome the appointments of all the new incoming Members of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute Board. Each will bring a variety of different and important skills which will benefit the Board’s future development.

"AFBI undertakes scientific, testing and research work in fields of agriculture, animal health and welfare, food, fisheries, forestry, rural development and enterprise, with a particular emphasis on the natural environment. 

"The skills and experience of the incoming Members in business and governance matters will provide leadership and guidance to AFBI as they continue their important work.”

Notes to editors: 

1. AFBI was established under The Agriculture (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 as a body corporate to undertake scientific work for DAERA in the fields of agriculture; animal health and welfare; food; fisheries; forestry; the natural environment; and rural development and enterprise.

2. Biographical Details of the appointees are listed below:

Tom Tynan has a distinguished career in agriculture. He was educated at University College Dublin (UCD) and Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, and was the 2015 UCD Alumni Award winner from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science. Tom worked across a range of agri-business and policy areas where he held a variety of senior management roles. He was Commercial Director for IAWS Agri-business and subsequently Chief Operating Officer of Welcon AS. He held posts on the Board of Teagasc (Ireland’s Agriculture & Food Development Authority), Agri-Aware and the Scientific Advisory Board of Alltech. He recently completed his tenure as a Member of Cabinet to the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Trade, where his portfolio responsibilities also included agricultural markets, research, development & innovation, bioeconomy and biotechnology.

Sally Shortall is a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast in Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Sally was twice elected President of the European Society for Rural Sociology (2015-17; 2017-19). She was elected First Vice-President of the International Rural Sociology Association (2016-2020) and is currently President-Elect of the International Rural Sociology Association. Sally was formerly on the Council of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, a Rural Commissioner with the North Yorkshire Rural Commission and a member of the Borderlands Energy Master planning Board. She holds Visiting Professorships in Queen's University Belfast, and University College Dublin. 

Tom Wright retired as Acting Deputy Chief Fire Officer from the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service in 2011 after 33 years’ service. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers and also a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management. Tom graduated from the University of Ulster in 2000 with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and in 2010 successfully completed the Executive Critical Leadership Development Programme at Queens University Belfast. He is a former Board Member of the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service and a former Governor of Oakwood Integrated Primary School. Tom has been a Board Member of the Health & Safety Executive NI since 2014 and also sits as Chair of its Audit & Risk Management Committee (remuneration £4000 per annum).

Tim McClelland owns and manages an award winning arable farm outside Tandragee, County Armagh, having achieved LEAF Marque accreditation improving environmental performance is key within the business. A former Ulster Farmers’ Union Board member, Tim is also a past Chairman of the Cereal Committee. Tim was previously a member of the CAFRE College Advisory Group. He is a 2012 UK Nuffield Farming Scholar and holds an MSc. in Agri-food and Business Development from Ulster University. Tim is a Board Member of the NI Drainage Council for which expenses are paid.

Ian Murphy is a Chartered Accountant and has worked in Invest Northern Ireland for over 20 years, serving as a Director of Food and Biosciences and Managing Director of Clients and Entrepreneurship. Ian has worked in a range of sectors and has managed specialist teams within Invest Northern Ireland helping digital media, software and global start organizations. He has contributed to a number of Boards and Committees within the Northern Ireland business community for many years. A graduate of Queens’ University Belfast, Ian is a qualified Chartered Marketer and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. Ian has completed the Entrepreneurship Development Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Ian is a governor at the Northern Regional College (remuneration £3000 per annum).

Alan Moore was Director of Strategic Capital Development in the Western Health & Social Care Trust until his retirement in September 2021. He was the Senior Responsible Officer, for the delivery of all major capital schemes including the redevelopment of Altnagelvin Area Hospital. He also chaired the Western Trust’s International Medical Recruitment Group. Since retirement, Alan has been appointed as an associate of the HSC Leadership Centre undertaking periodic assignments supporting the health services within Northern Ireland on a part time basis. Alan is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Alan is a Lay Member of the Council for Ulster University for which expenses are paid.

Daphne Johnston has recently retired following 36 years’ experience as a social worker working mainly within the public sector and for a period within the voluntary sector in a variety of roles from social worker to senior manager within community services, clinical and social care governance and workforce development and training. Daphne is an Executive Coach and has a Master’s Degree in Strategy and Leadership. She has extensive experience in her working life, having chaired and been a member of a range of Boards and Committees, experience of multi-discipline and multi- agency working, corporate governance, strategic and financial planning. Daphne is currently a Non-Executive Board Member with the Legal Services Agency Northern Ireland and Chair of the Legal Services Agency Audit and Risk Committee.

David Campbell graduated with Honours in General Agriculture from Queen’s University Belfast in 1987. Over the past thirty years he has helped to run and develop the family farm over 250 acres in East Antrim with dairy, beef, and sheep enterprises. He was an Ulster Unionist Party negotiator in the peace talks and Special Advisor to First Minister David Trimble, and was awarded CBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2005. David has chaired and served on public sector Boards (Strategic Investment, Maze/Long Kesh, and NI Memorial Committee) and Private Sector (Somme Association, Northern Renewables Ltd, and Omers Strategic Investments). David is the Honorary Consul for Turkey in NI.

Martyn Blair owns and operates a commercial egg production business and a medium dairy calf to store beef enterprise.  He is a member of the Ulster Farmers’ Union Executive committee, held a position as UFU Board member for four years and currently sits on the Board of the Northern Ireland Agricultural Research and Development Council.  He was a member of the expert working group on Sustainable Land Management. He is a past president of the YFCU, a past chairman of the UFU Poultry committee, currently sits on their environment committee and was a member of their inaugural next generation committee. 

William Montgomery has 34 years’ experience in economic development working for the Industrial Development Board and Invest Northern Ireland. His responsibilities have included representing Northern Ireland as an investment location in North America, and Director roles in International Investment and Advanced Manufacturing Divisions in Invest Northern Ireland.

Thérèse Rafferty has 35 years’ experience working in the public sector in roles in local government and higher education. Previously Head of Regeneration in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, she was lead officer on the delivery of Strategic programmes including Rural Development initiatives funded by DAERA and had a financial management role for capital and revenue budgets. She has held a number of previous Board positions in rural development.  

3. The AFBI Board Member position is remunerated at £412 per diem.

4. Political activity plays no part in the selection process, however, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. One candidate has declared Political Activity. Mr Tim McClelland has represented Lagan River DEA as an elected Councillor for the Democratic Unionist Party on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council since 2019.

5. These appointments have been made in accordance with the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (Norther Ireland) Order 2004 and the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland (CPA NI) Code of Practice.

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