Senior Staff


Brendan Halligan

Brendan trained as an economist, graduating with a Masters Degree from University College Dublin, Ireland, in 1964. He subsequently worked in the public and private sectors as an economist before entering politics.In 1967 he became General Secretary of the Irish Labour Party. While in that post, the Prime Minister appointed him a member of the Senate in 1973. He was elected a member of Dáil Éireann (the Irish House of Representatives) in 1976 and later became a member of the European Parliament (1983/84) where he specialised in economic affairs and energy policy. He retired as General Secretary of the Labour Party in 1980 to become an economics lecturer and subsequently he set up a public affairs consultancy, which he manages.In 1985, the government appointed him as Chairman of the Irish Peat Development Authority, a state company responsible for the commercial exploitation of the country’s peat resources. He held office until 1995.He founded the Institute of International and European Affairs in 1990, an independent think tank of which he is currently the President. In 2007, Brendan was appointed Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, a state agency which is charged with promoting the production and use of sustainable energy in Ireland and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He has acted as a public affairs consultant to Irish and multi-national firms for the past twenty five years. He is also a Director of Mainstream Renewable Power.
Director General

Michael Collins

Michael assumed his position as Director General of the IIEA in November 2019. He served at the highest level in the Irish diplomatic service during a 45-year career. Michael most recently served as Irish Ambassador to Germany from 2013 to 2019 and prior to this, he served as Ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2013. In 2001 he was appointed Second Secretary General in the Department of An Taoiseach with responsibility for the Northern Ireland peace process, Anglo-Irish issues and EU and international issues. On retirement, he became the longest-serving diplomat in the history of the Irish foreign service.
Director of Administration

Fionnuala Keane

Fionnuala is the Director of Administration at the Institute and has over 15 years’ experience working in events and administration.  Prior to working in the Institute, she worked in the National Forum on Europe, RDC Communications and was Club Administrator and Events Manager at Old Belvedere RFC.  She holds a BA in Politics and Economics from UCD and Diplomas in Public Relations, Event Management and Employment Law.
Communications Director

Hannah Deasy

Hannah is responsible for implementing the IIEA communications & media strategy and leads public engagement for the Future of the EU27 project. She also coordinates the IIEA Brexit Hub.Hannah has worked in Irish and European politics and advocacy for 8 years. She spent five years in Brussels working for the President of the Party of European Socialists and Social Democrats. On returning to Ireland, Hannah worked with Women for Election running training programmes for female candidates and building stakeholder support. Hannah has an MA in International Relations, and a BA (International) in History & Political Science, both from University College Dublin. She also holds a Diploma from Sciences Po Paris and a Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies from Concordia University Montreal.
Creative Director

Sarah Burke

Sarah Burke is head of Creative at the IIEA and leads the creative team. She has worked in the creative department of advertising for over 10 years. Before joining the IIEA, Sarah was self-employed working as a freelance creative for advertising and media agencies, developing some award winning campaigns along the way. Prior to this she worked in M+C Saatchi in Sydney Australia. Sarah graduated from the MSc in Advertising in Dublin Institute of Technology in 2009, achieving the gold medal for first place on the course. She graduated with a BA in Drama and Theatre studies with English from UCC in 2005.
Director of Finance

Janice Epstein

Membership Development Executive

Fiona O’Sullivan

Fiona is the Membership Development Executive at the Institute and is responsible for retention and growth of our corporate membership. Fiona has held a number of senior management positions in the high tech, pharmaceutical and HR sectors. She was Founder and Managing Director of Eureka, a leading HR communications agency which was acquired by TMP Worldwide in 2003. Fiona has served as Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Sonru and InterTrade Ireland and was Honorary Secretary for The Pharmaceutical Managers Association from 2012 – 2014. Fiona holds a BA in Marketing, a Diploma in Human Resources, a Certificate in Business and Executive Coaching and is a Certified Member of the IMI (Irish Mediation Institute).
Director of Research

Jill Donoghue

Vice President for Global Affairs (2013 to present)Director of Research at the IIEA (1997 to present)Former Director General of the IIEA (2007-2009)Former lecturer in UCD, Maynooth, University of Limerick and the Smurfit Business SchoolDeputy Director of the Language Centre in UCDMember of the board for International relations of Royal Irish AcademyMember of the board of Communicating EuropeMember of the advisory board of the IIIS
Deputy Director of Research (Brexit)

Andrew Gilmore

Andrew Gilmore is the Deputy Director of Research at the Institute of International and European Affairs, and an Associate Researcher at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). In his role at the IIEA, he is responsible for coordinating the work of the UK project group, in particular the IIEA’s extensive Brexit events and publications programme. He is a contributor to ongoing projects at the ECFR, focusing on Brexit, populism and European foreign policy. He is also responsible for the IIEA’s Foreign Policy, Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy programmes. He was previously the lead researcher for the IIEA’s Banking Union project group (2013-2015) and is the co-author and co-editor of the 2014 IIEA book Banking Union: Progress and Prospects.


Senior Administrative Assistant and Database Manager

Lynn Fitzgerald

Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Rebecca Cox

CE Supervisor

Cathy Bermingham


Communications Manager

Darragh Moriarty

Darragh Moriarty is the IIEA’s Communications Manager (maternity cover). He is responsible for the implementation of the Institute’s communications and media strategy. He has been at the IIEA since October 2016 and previously had split responsibilities across the Institute’s Research and Communications teams. He continues to be responsible for the IIEA’s EU Affairs speaker programme and is the Chair of the IIEA’s Young Professionals’ Network (YPN). Before joining the IIEA, Darragh completed a placement in the Department of the Taoiseach’s EU Division as part of his MA in International Relations, which he completed in University College Dublin. He also completed his BA in Politics and Geography in UCD.


Video Production Officer

Lorcan Mullally

Lorcan Mullally is a member of the Creative Team at the IIEA. He is responsible for all audio-visual and technical elements of the Institute’s event production work, including recording of the presentations and interviews, arranging photographic services and editing video packages for distribution online via Soundcloud, Youtube and Flickr.Lorcan has a MA in Journalism and Media Communications from GCD.
Creative Officer

Ellen O’Leary

Ellen is a member of the Creative Team at the IIEA. She is responsible for producing engaging print, digital content and emails for the IIEA. Ellen’s work includes designing reports, publications and presentations, as well as the design and development of content for web and social media such as info-graphics. Prior to joining the IIEA, Ellen worked as a graphic designer for a leading media company in Ireland. Ellen graduated with a first class honours B.A. degree in Interactive Multimedia from the Institute of Technology Tralee.


Head of Hospitality

Julie McDermott