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Commissioner Mairead McGuinness

European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union

Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union.
The Commissioner’s vision for the portfolio is focused on ensuring the financial sector’s strength and stability, so that it can deliver for people, society and the environment.
Before joining the Commission in October 2020, Ms McGuinness served as First Vice-President of the European Parliament since 2017. She was an MEP for 16 years, and was a Vice-President of the Parliament since 2014.
Prior to becoming an MEP, Ms McGuinness was an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and commentator.

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Senator Pippa Hackett 

Ireland’s Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Senator Pippa Hackett is Minister of State for Agriculture with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity. She was appointed to this role in June 2020, only the third senator in the history of the state to be elevated to Cabinet. 

Senator Hackett was elected to the Agricultural Panel of Seanad Éireann in a by-election on 1 November 2019 and was re-elected in 2020.  She is also a former member of Offaly County Council.

She holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Essex, a postgraduate diploma from University College Dublin, and a PhD from the University of Limerick.

Minister Hackett has four children, and along with her husband Mark, she runs a farm (Moat House Farm) near Tullamore in Co Offaly.  They produce organic beef and sheep, while they also have some bloodstock and forestry. 

Moat House Farm is situated on the site of a 12th century Norman motte and bailey identified on the ordnance survey map as "The Moat of Down", hence the business name.

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Councillor Deirdre Heney  

EMRA Cathaoirleach (Chairperson) & Co-president of ENCORE 2018-2021

Councillor Deirdre Heney, Cathaoirleach of EMRA is a solicitor by profession an elected member of the Fianna Fáil Party, representing the Clontarf Local Electoral Area on Dublin City Council.


Deirdre is a Climate Ambassador and is deeply driven by the protection of wildlife, biodiversity, and the welfare of animals. She continues to advocate for the care and well-being of carers in our society, particularly carers of loved ones living with dementia. She is a member of Dublin City Council’s Strategic Policy Committee on Arts Culture Leisure and Recreation,  Chairperson of the Council's Animal Welfare Oversight Committee, and a member of the Board of Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Councillor Heney was previously Cathaoirleach of the Council's Strategic Policy Committee on Economic Development, Enterprise and International Relations.

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Dr Tara Shine (Moderator)

Director of Change by Degrees, Specialist in climate change, environment, and development issues

Dr Tara Shine spent 20 years as an international climate change negotiator and adviser to governments and world leaders on environmental policy. She was Special Adviser to the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice and The Elders before setting up Change by Degrees. Tara is Chair of the Board of the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) and a member of faculty and lead facilitator for the visibility stream of Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme for women in science. She is co-facilitator of the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) of the 2nd Periodic Review under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a process to monitor progress and enhance delivery on Paris Agreement goals.

Tara is a science communicator and TV presenter (BBC, RTE, Channel 4) and author of ‘How to Save Your Planet One Object At A Time’ published in April 2020 by Simon and Schuster. She presented the prestigious 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture which aired on BBC4 in December.

Tara is an accomplished swimmer and jumps in the sea every chance she gets.

Photo Credit: John Allen

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