New Chief Executive for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has announced that Dr Pamela Byrne has been appointed Chief Executive and will take up office in March 2015, following the retirement of Prof. Alan Reilly.

Dr Byrne is currently Director of Regulatory Policy and Intelligence with Abbott Nutrition. Having previously held senior positions in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, she has extensive experience of the food regulatory environment, as well as expertise in risk assessment and food safety management at both national and international levels.

A native of Cork, Dr Byrne holds a PhD in Environmental Toxicology from University College, Cork (UCC); an MSc in Aquatic Resource Management from Kings College, University of London; a BSc in Zoology from UCC and a Higher Diploma in Environmental Law from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales.

During her time at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dr Byrne gained a deep knowledge of the food sector as an environmental toxicologist and risk assessor, and was instrumental in developing Ireland’s research and innovation policy programmes in relation to food and the bio-economy. Dr Byrne also worked in the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation – Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Commenting on the announcement, Prof Michael Gibney, Chairman, Food Safety Authority of Ireland stated that Dr Byrne brings an enormous breath of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Executive that will be invaluable in steering the Food Safety Authority of Ireland to maintain its world class status, dedicated to protecting consumers’ health and interests in relation to Irish food.

“The Board warmly welcomes Dr Byrne to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland  and looks forward to working closely with her as Chief Executive, to deliver an exemplary regulatory environment that is to the fore in protecting public health and consumer interests in the area of food safety and hygiene. We look forward to the FSAI continuing to be a global leader in setting standards under Dr Byrne’s stewardship,” says Prof Michael Gibney.

“The Board thanks outgoing Chief Executive, Prof. Alan Reilly for the outstanding leadership he has shown during his tenure, which has led the FSAI to be regarded nationally and internationally as a highly respected regulatory body. It is fitting to note that just last month, Ireland was ranked joint first place with Canada out of 16 OECD countries for its food safety processes and performances. A reflection of Prof. Reilly’s contribution and the commitment and professionalism of his team of experts at the Food Safety Authority of Ireland ,” Prof. Gibney concluded.

Dr Byrne currently chairs the EU’s Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life” and the Strategic Advisory Board of the Institute of Food and Health in University College, Dublin.

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