The Chair and Vice Chair prioritised from the start engagement with civic society and the public. They established a website with a public submissions channel that attracted over six hundred submissions. During several visits to Northern Ireland, the Chair and Vice Chair held more than one hundred meetings with a broad range of groups, panel members, and officials from across Northern Ireland. Panel members, too, conducted their own intensive outreach and engagement in connection with their work on the panel.
In accordance with this, the Panel of Parties in the Northern Ireland Executive was constituted under a chair, Richard Haass, and a vice chair, Meghan O’Sullivan. The panel included two members from each of the five parties in the Executive, with the addition of the two Junior Ministers.