Forfás chief executive Martin Shanahan has been named Barry O’Leary’s successor as chief executive of IDA Ireland.
Shanahan has been CEO of Forfás since 2010, leading government policy advisory, in particular spearheading the National Competitiveness Council and the Expert Group on Skills.
“Martin Shanahan is an energetic senior executive, with extensive experience in both public and private sectors,” IDA Ireland chairman Frank Ryan said.
“He will bring a wealth of knowledge of economic development from his previous role as CEO of Forfás. Working with the current dynamic IDA team, he will build on the successes of recent years and take the organisation into a new phase of its development. I wish Martin all the best in his new role and have every confidence the organisation will prosper under his leadership,” Ryan said.
Drive, energy and experience
Prior to Forfás Shanahan held management responsibility in Fáilte Ireland for the professional development of the tourism sector.
His appointment as new CEO of IDA Ireland followed an extensive search programme by the IDA, the Public Appointments Service and PwC.
Shanahan will take up the role in August and lead the development of a new strategy for IDA, along with client companies, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, other Government departments and sister agencies.
The appointment was welecomed by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.
“IDA Ireland is a vital State agency, responsible for supporting over 160,000 jobs in multinational companies here, and which has delivered jobs growth of over 5000 in each of the last three years,” Bruton said.
“Martin Shanahan is a senior executive of the highest calibre, with drive, energy and an impressive range of experience in both private and public sector. As CEO of Forfás he has been instrumental in driving the Action Plan for Jobs process, which has been crucial in restoring our competitiveness and supporting jobs growth over the past three years.
“I know that Martin has the strategic vision, the drive and the management capability necessary to build on the success of IDA in recent years, to address the challenges faced by the multinational sector, and to support the job-creation in foreign companies in Ireland that we need,” Bruton added