New chairperson takes the reins at Coillte

A public accountant with over 30 years’ experience has been appointed as the new chairperson of Coillte by Michael Creed, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Bernie Gray has been appointed for a five-year period, and got the job after a competitive recruitment process carried out by the Public Appointments Service.

Gray has expertise in a number of areas, including board governance, change management, human resources (HR), business coaching and business restructuring.

She served as the chairperson of EirGrid from 2006 to 2013, and formally worked with Eircom from 1984 to 2002, where she held a number of high-ranking positions, including HR director in her final four years there.

Gray is currently a member of the Accountability Board of the Civil Service, as well as the Governing Authority of Dublin City University and the GAA’s National Audit and Risk Committee.

She also has experience in a number of other non-executive roles within the state and the not-for-profit sector.

“She has significant board experience and a range of management and governance skills which will be hugely beneficial in the strategic development of the company,” said Minister Creed while announcing the appointment last week.

He also took the opportunity to thank outgoing chairperson John Moloney who, according to the minister, oversaw the restructuring of Coillte, which allowed it to improve its performance.

“John’s work is very much appreciated as it has put Coillte on a firm footing for the future,” said Minister Creed.

Meanwhile, Andrew Doyle, the Minister of State with responsibility for forestry, said: “I would like to warmly welcome Bernie Gray as chairperson of Coillte and acknowledge the work done by her predecessor John Moloney.

“Coillte plays a hugely important role in the Irish forestry sector, given the extent of its forest assets. I look forward to engaging with Bernie and the Coillte board on an ongoing basis to continue the development of forestry in Ireland,” added Minister Doyle.