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New York – New Belfast 2022 – Speakers

Alison Metcalfe

Alison Metcalfe, Head of North America & Australia, Tourism Ireland & Chair; European Travel Commission, USA Chapter.

Alison has responsibility for leading Tourism Ireland’s Marketing Strategy and Operations in the US, Canada & Australia. In June 2017, Alison also assumed responsibility for Tourism Ireland’s operations in Australia/New Zealand. She also serves as Chair of the European Travel Commission (ETC), USA Chapter since 2017. ETC is the non-profit organisation responsible for the promotion of Destination Europe as the worldwide number one tourist destination in third markets.

 

 


 

Andrea Haughian

Andrea Haughian is Vice President of Business Development for Invest Northern Ireland. Andrea has extensive experience in the Financial Services sector and specializes in assisting US companies establish successful near shore operations in Northern Ireland.

Prior to joining Invest Northern Ireland’s New York office, Andrea worked in the Financial Services sector in Belfast with BDO Northern Ireland, the award winning member firm of BDO, the fifth largest accountancy network in the world. Prior to that, Andrea worked for many years in international trade, marketing and business development in Europe, the US and Asia.

Andrea is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, has undertaken post-graduate programs in both San Francisco and Chicago and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Fellow of Young Enterprise and Member of the Institute of Directors. Andrea was listed as a Top 40 Under 40 honouree by the Irish Echo in 2010 and in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Andrea was named as one of Irish America’s Most Influential Women.
 

 


 

Christina Black

Belfast’s current Lord Mayor is Councillor Christina Black, who took up office in June 2022.

Councillor Black is a member of Sinn Féin and was originally co-opted onto Belfast City Council in November 2018, then elected in May 2019.  Councillor Black represents the Court Ward in west Belfast.  

Councillor Black is 45 years old and hails from the Grosvenor area in the Falls, where she continues to live with her husband.  Tina attended St Louise’s Comprehensive College and Queen’s University Belfast, where she obtained a Politics Degree and Masters in Community and Social Development.

Tina’s background is firmly rooted in community, social and cultural development.  She has worked in the community and voluntary sector for over 25 years and is deeply committed to good relations, cross community engagement and inclusion.  

Tina will be a Mayor for all and her year in office will be characterised by a drive to reconnect the city.  She is committed to seeing Belfast as a place which can accommodate families, is supportive of those facing economic or social exclusion and is filled with high quality, clean, green and safe spaces.  Finding practical ways to help with the cost of living crisis will be a core pillar of her approach.

 


 

Clare Guinness

Innovation District Director, Innovation City Belfast

A leader in strategy, corporate governance, business development and change / risk management who spent 18 years in Corporate banking as well as senior roles in industry.

Clare is leading the establishment of an innovation district that will leverage digital, intellectual and real estate assets to grow the Northern Ireland economy.

Clare is passionate about achieving place-based inclusive economic growth aligned with the UN sustainable development goals.

 

 


 

Darragh McCarthy

Darragh McCarthy is the CEO and Founder of FinTrU. He started his career at Morgan Stanley in 1994 and remained there until late 2012. During his time at Morgan Stanley, Darragh was based in London, Frankfurt and New York and held various responsibilities including Global COO for Institutional Securities, COO for EMEA, Head of Fixed Income Sales North America and Head of Fixed Income Sales EMEA.   

In 2013, Darragh founded FinTrU recognising the increased demand from Global Investment Banks for high-quality resources to navigate the ever-increasing regulatory landscape. Whilst managed as a profit-driven organisation, Darragh also considers FinTrU as having a social purpose to create high-quality professional employment. FinTrU is a multi-award winning technologically enabled Regulatory Solutions company employing over 1,000 people across offices in Belfast, Derry/Londonderry, London, Dublin, Maastricht and New York. Darragh has been a Board Member of the Belfast Chamber since June 2020 and the Innovation and Growth Advisory Board for the City of London since June 2021.   

Darragh has a First Class Honours BComm International from University College of Dublin, Ireland. Originally from County Cork, Darragh now lives in Belfast. He is married with 3 children and speaks fluent German and Dutch.

 


 

Gareth Graham

Gareth Graham is the Managing Director of Oakland Holdings, the development company behind Belfast’s most exciting commercial development, Merchant Square. The project was completed in Q1 2021, the 9 storey commercial building has transformed the centre of Belfast and is now let entirely to PwC in what will be the Firm’s largest premises in the UK outside London.

Gareth lives in Belfast and is a former pupil of St Malachys college. He is committed to the ongoing development of Belfast and to ensuring that the city meets its full potential. Oakland is cuurently developing Northern Ireland’s first Aparthotel at the junction of Queen Street and College Street in the city centre. The ApartHotel will feature 189 apartments, a bar and restaurant, gymnasium, meetings rooms and event space.

Gareth has a young family and he enjoys a range of sports including gaelic football where he is an under age coach with with his local club St Brigids

 


 

John Walsh

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John Walsh was appointed as Chief Executive of Belfast City Council in March 2022, following a 31 year career in Council, most recently holding the position of Director of Legal and Civic Services and City Solicitor.

John is committed to delivering on Council’s ambitious plans for the city and driving forward the city’s recovery journey post-Covid. As a member of the Corporate Management Team over the last two local government terms, he is one of the architects of the Belfast Agenda and has played a key role in shaping policies aligned to it as well as the draft Local Development Plan. He has led on arrangements facilitating public collaboration, public/private partnership working and joint ventures.

As City Solicitor, John was the primary legal advisor to the organisation and its 60 elected members as well as to various other Councils and statutory bodies throughout Northern Ireland.

As part of his sphere of responsibility, John led the team delivering and implementing the Councils governance and decision-making process and supporting the City’s First Citizen, the Lord Mayor. In addition, John oversaw the Councils information governance, equality, facilities, corporate health and safety and Births, Deaths and Marriages functions.

 


 

Leigh Meyer

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Leigh Meyer has worked for Citi for 20 years, covering a number of products from derivatives to FX. Since 2001 he has had operational responsibility for Foreign Exchange, Foreign Exchange Options and Money Markets; this extended to responsibility for FXLM globally in 2007 & Market Ops Head in 2014.

Leigh joined Salomon Brothers, one of the founding institutions to the modern Citi in 1986 having arrived in the UK earlier in the year. He has worked in other banks, both in Finance and Operational rolls, before re-joining Citi in 1998. Leigh has lived in Belfast since moving from London when the FX/MM Operations migrated from London in 2008. The FXLM business operates in over 100 countries and is supported by Operations in 62 countries. The business is supported by 1000 people globally.

Leigh was appointed Belfast Site Head in May 2016 and has grown the local team from 375 to over 3500 people across 21 different business functions including legal, compliance, HR, and technology. He is lead sponsor on one of the five affinity networks which include, Women, Pride, DisAbility, Multicultural and Families matter which exist to support and celebrate the 40 nationalities that are represented across the site. He is an influential leader who has welcomed challenge to the stereotypical idea of finance professionals by providing diverse pathways into the profession in Belfast through the development of Apprenticeship and Returners programmes. He is proud of that 47% of leadership roles across the site are held by women.

He has a number of other external roles, some of which include:
⁃ The City UK, Chair
⁃ Member of Northern Ireland Ambassador Circle on the Financial, Professional and Business Services Advisory Panel.
⁃ Fellow of NI Institute of Directors. 

Leigh has a wealth of business experience and acumen which he has demonstrated whilst leading teams through challenges including a global Pandemic, European crisis and economic uncertainty with resilience, innovation, and outstanding adaptability.

He is someone who epitomises Citi’s mission to enable growth and economic progress according to company values.

 


 

Maura Kelly

Maura is a Director, Advisor, Emmy Award-winning producer and founder of Purple Mountain Media. With over 20 yrs. of expertise in media and marketing, Maura works with organizations to design and deliver special projects, cultural initiatives and partnerships aimed at stakeholder engagement and impact. She is currently collaborating with several US Governor appointed State Service Commissions to strengthen their external relations and corporate social responsibility outreach plans. Active in Irish diaspora initiatives, Maura is Senior Advisor to the LEAP Leadership Program, and curates transatlantic events. She is a Board Advisor to EDsnaps, a nonprofit that introduces Gen Z girls to STEM careers.

Her career spans leadership positions in broadcast media at PBS/ WNET where she produced television campaigns and helped raise millions for programs and EdTech initiatives – to working with top-tier companies, like The Jim Henson Co, Nat Geo, the Tribeca Film Institute and corporate foundations (Toyota, Intel, Cisco) plus government agencies (NSF, Dept of Education, DFA Ireland). Maura was born in Killarney, Kerry.

 

 


 

Thomas P. DiNapoli

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Thomas P. DiNapoli is the 54th Comptroller of the State of New York. A life-long Long Islander, Tom was raised in a middle-class, union household and saw the value of hard work and stretching every dollar in the example set by his parents.

In 1972, Tom won his first election and served as a trustee on the Mineola Board of Education, becoming the first 18-year-old in New York State to hold public office. He attended Hofstra University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history and graduated magna cum laude in 1976. He worked in the telecommunications industry for 10 years, and went to night classes and earned a master’s degree from The New School University’s Graduate School of Management and Urban Professions.

In 1986, he ran for the New York State Assembly and was elected to represent the 16th District in northwestern Nassau County for the next 20 years. Tom was elected State Comptroller on Feb. 7, 2007 by a bipartisan majority of the State Legislature. He was elected Comptroller by New York’s voters in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. Tom is known for his integrity, independence and even-keeled leadership.

His record of accomplishments include identifying billions in waste, fraud and cost savings in government, uncovering corruption in State and local governments, leading to dozens of arrests and tens of millions in restitution, providing robust oversight of school district operations and education spending, successfully advocating for State law changes to increase oversight of special education contractors after widespread abuse was found, developing an early warning system to identify municipalities and school districts showing signs of fiscal stress, managing the third largest public pension fund in the nation through difficult losses during the Great Recession, reformed how it operates and received high praise for industry leading standards, investing nearly $2 billion in private equity and loan programs to benefit New York-based businesses and provide a return to the State pension fund, earning a reputation as one of the leading shareholder voices on many corporate concerns including environmental issues and corporate political spending, opening up government spending on his transparency website Open Book New York, leading the fight for prudent fiscal and procurement reforms to help New York change how it does business and put it on better fiscal footing, and streamlining claims process for individuals to recover lost money. Returned $424 million in unclaimed funds to owners in State Fiscal Year 2016-2017.
 

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