FSAI appoints former safefood CEO as its new chairman

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has appointed former safefood chief executive Martin Higgins as its new chairman.

Higgins became the first chief executive of safefood, the all-island food safety promotion board, and led the organisation from its inception in 1998 until his retirement in 2014.

Prior to that, he was the first director of Corporate Services in the FSAI – having previously held the post of principal officer at the Department of Health, specialising in finance and health agency regulation.

He has professional qualifications in accountancy, international regulation and governance; and is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. In 2015, he was appointed to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

Higgins currently chairs the Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) of both An Bord Pleanala and COMREG; he is also a member of the ARCs of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland.

He is a qualified mediator, as well as an executive and leadership coach.

Commenting today on the new appointment, Minister for Health Simon Harris said: “I was pleased to appoint Mr. Higgins as chairperson of the board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

I am confident that his experience and expertise will continue to make a substantial and valuable contribution to the work of the authority.

According to Dr. Pamela Byrne, CEO of FSAI, Higgins is highly regarded in Irish health, food and nutrition sectors – and his experience in policy formulation and implementation will be a great asset to the FSAI board.

His experience and acumen will prove to be a significant positive influence in striving to continuously protect and promote food safety in Ireland, according to the authority.