THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Dr Orlaigh Quinn Women in leadership Masterclass

31 May 2018

Dr Orlaigh Quinn gave the fourth in our Women in Leadership Series, that sees ouststanding women leaders share their experiences with the next generation of female leaders to inspire, motivate and mentor.

Orlagh Quinn's masterclass was moderated by Dr Claire O'Connell. Orlagh spoke about her career from starting out as a clerical assistant in the Civil Service to becoming the eighth female Secretary General since the foundation of the State.  She stressed the need to collaborate and build your networks and creating strong relationships through project work. You will get to a level in your career where you need to delegate as you cannot be the expert in everything but surround yourself with a good team and get a good grasp of the general basics. Listening and learning on the job can teach you a lot especially in a crisis but don't be afraid to ask for help and advice. She reminded us that you can learn from the worst managers as well as from the good ones. Lead by example and manage your time so you don't impinge on others. Don't give up - if you don't get a position try again.

The style of moderation by Claire O'Connell was great, she included all participants frequently, and kept the conversation going. She was able to draw out particular aspects of Dr. Quinn's career that were highly relevant to all participants.

Speaker Biography

Dr Orlaigh Quinn was appointed Secretary General of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in 2016. Her role is to support Government and lead the Department and its offices and agencies in encouraging the creation of high quality and sustainable full employment; by championing enterprise, supporting and incentivising a competitive enterprise base, and promoting fair and competitive employment and markets.

Prior to her current appointment, Orlaigh was an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. As Programme Director of the Reform and Delivery Office, she led on Public Sector reform, including Civil Service Renewal and government reform and supported a wide range of organisations in driving change.

As a career, civil servant, she has worked in a number of public sector organisations, including the Department of Social Protection as HR Director and as Head of National Pensions policy and operations. She was also responsible for EU/International Affairs where she led the Department’s remit in the Irish Presidency of the European Union in 2013.She is a former Visiting Research Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and holds a Masters in Public Management and a Doctorate in Governance from Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of two books on public policy topics.

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now