Mairéad McCafferty – Chief Executive

Chief Executive

Mairéad was appointed Chief Executive in February 2012.  A Graduate of both Queen’s and Ulster Universities, (an educationalist – Teacher/Head by profession), she has worked for many years on behalf of marginalised, vulnerable groups in the VCS and statutory sectors.  These included the LGBTQ community, travellers, young people outside mainstream education, and those involved with the care and justice systems.

Prior to taking up post at NICCY, she ran Integrated Services for Children and Young People, delivering on education, mental health, family support, youth justice and youth services, having previously worked as Head of Newstart Education Centre, Teacher, ETI Associate Assessor and Lecturer.

Mairéad has been an advocate for human rights & equality for many years. She was proactively involved in influencing policy and legislative developments, and was a member of the NI Bill of Rights Forum (also its Economic & Social Rights Working Group) – and remains a member of a number of Human Rights Organisations. She has served as Director/Trustee on a number of Boards/ARACs in the statutory and VCS sectors, is currently a member of the Institute of Directors and on the Board of the Chief Executives’ Forum.

As Chief Executive, Mairéad runs the organisation and is in responsible for strategic planning, performance management, finance and budgeting, corporate governance across all relevant areas including staffing, regulatory functions, risk management, reporting and accountability.  She is chief advisor to the Commissioner and deputises,  as/when necessary.  Mairéad is also responsible for the development of our Corporate and Business Plans, and continues to have great ambition for the organisation.

Outside work, Mairéad enjoys travelling, walking/hiking, theatre and stand-up comedy!

You can contact Mairéad by emailing or