Management Board

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Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection Management Board

John McKeon Assistant Secretary 


John McKeon
Secretary General


Secretary General

John McKeon joined the Department of Social Protection, in October 2010 and was appointed Secretary General in July 2017.

Prior to his appointment he held Assistant Secretary positions with  responsibility for activation policy, the development and implementation of the Pathways to Work programme, and the modernisation of the Department’s public office (Intreo) services.  He also held responsibility for staff relations and Finance, Legislation and PRSI policy.  

Prior to joining the Department he worked for the Department of Post and Telegraphs / Telecom Éireann / Eircom over a period of 31 years most latterly as Managing Director of eircom Wholesale.



Jacqui McCrum
Deputy Secretary


Deputy Secretary
Jacqui Mc Crum joined the Department as Deputy Secretary General in December 2018. 

Prior to that she was the Director General and Accounting Officer in the Office of the Ombudsman, Offices of the Information Commissioner and Commissioner for Environmental Information, Standards in Public Office Commission, Referendum Commission and Commission for Public Service Appointments. She was previously Deputy/Acting Financial Services Ombudsman, Ireland and worked on the amalgamation of that office with the Pensions Ombudsman's office. Prior to that she had spent the majority of career in financial services in London and Dublin. She holds various academic qualifications including Professional Diploma in Human Rights and Equality; Certified Mediator; Certificate in Pensions Law and Practice; Post Graduate certificate in Sustainable Business (University of Cambridge) and Diploma in Montessori Studies. 

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Michael Bunyan
Assistant Secretary

IS Services
Michael Bunyan was appointed Assistant Secretary General/Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Department in December 2014, with responsibility for the Department’s Information Systems Division.

This encompasses responsibility for large-scale ICT systems development projects, Technical Architecture, ICT Infrastructure, Digital Services platforms, Project Management Office, ICT Production Support/ Operations and Information Security & Networks.

Prior to this Michael served as the Director of Information Management and Technology/ CIO at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, since 2010. 

Michael has over 30 years of experience working in various ICT roles in the Irish Civil Service. 

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John Conlon
Assistant Secretary


Employment Services
John Conlon is the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for: activation and employment policy; employment programmes and work incentives; the statistics and business intelligence unit for the Department and for the redundancy and insolvency policy and operations. He is a member of the EU Network Board for Public Employment Services.

He was previous Assurant Secretary General with responsibility for the Finance and Budget functions and for the Legislation Unit in the Department.

He previously worked the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, the Office of the Ombudsman and also worked with the Commission on Taxation.

Tim Duggan 


Tim Duggan
Assistant Secretary


Pensions/Social Insurance/Employment Rights/EU & International Affairs
Tim Duggan is the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for policy development in the areas of pensions, social insurance and employment rights. He also leads the Department’s EU/International Division which includes coordination of Brexit planning.

Tim has held a number of senior policy and operational positions in the Department in the last number of years. Prior to that he worked at Assistant Secretary General and Principal levels in the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform.  

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Oliver Egan
Assistant Secretary


Regions East, Midlands, West, Nth West
Oliver Egan is Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for Divisions. These are Dublin x 2; North East; West; North West; Midlands; Mid-West; Cork; South East.

Oliver is responsible for the efficient operation of the Regions.

Oliver previously had responsibility for Employment Schemes; the Internal Control Unit, and ESF and EGF claims, and Jobs Ireland.



Niall Egan
Assistant Secretary


Service Development
Niall Egan is the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for Service Development and Communications in the Department.

He also has responsibility for driving the Department’s Digital Services agenda.

Niall has previously held a number of positions in the Department in policy and corporate affairs. He has worked in a number of different Government Departments.



Rónán Hession
Assistant Secretary


Working Age / Income Support Policy
Rónán Hession is the Assistant Secretary who leads policy across a diverse range of areas including: working age schemes; supports for families and children; supplementary welfare; illness, carers and disability; the Low Pay Commission; gender recognition; and civil registration.

Rónán has worked in four Government Departments and has previously held senior positions on Brexit, international taxation, corporation tax and financial regulation. Rónán was a member of the Civil Service Renewal Task Force and was the Irish representative to the OECD Committee on Fiscal Affairs and the EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation. Rónán holds a MEcon Science in Policy Analysis.

Teresa Leonard Assistant Secretary 


Teresa Leonard
Assistant Secretary


Centralised Operations
Teresa Leonard is Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for the delivery of the centralised operations. These include delivery of the Department’s schemes in respect of children, people with illness and disability, carers and pensioners.

In addition, Teresa has responsibility for the delivery of a number of key modernisation projects (working family payment, parental benefit, EESSI, etc.) and the restructuring of front office and back office services for working age schemes.

Teresa has held many roles in the Department, having previously had responsibility for child and disability policy & Divisional services. She has a long track record of, policy development, service delivery and service modernisation, having led out on many large scale projects developments over recent years.



Paula Lyons
Assistant Secretary


HR / Facilities
Paula Lyons re-joined the Department in May 2019, having previously worked here until 2007 when she moved to the Courts Service as Regional Manager. She subsequently worked with the National Shared Services Office, initially as Programme Manager for the Payroll Shared Services project and subsequently as Head of HR and Payroll Operations.

Paula’s current responsibility is for HR including, Performance, Workforce Planning, Staff Development and Industrial Relations and for the Facilities Management Unit comprising Accommodation, Procurement and Finance, Health and Safety, Environment and Supplies.  



Deirdre Shanley
Assistant Secretary


Finance / Corporate
Deirdre Shanley is the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for leading the financial and budget areas in the Department. Deirdre also leads the data protection and corporate services functions.

Deirdre has held a number of positions in the Department throughout her career and also worked in a number of other Government Departments.

Kathleen Stack 


Kathleen Stack
Assistant Secretary


Operations Control
Kathleen Stack is the Assistant Secretary General with responsibility for control policy and operations within the Department. She is also responsible for Client Identity Services, the General Register Office, the Decisions Advisory Office and Freedom of Information.

Kathleen has held a number of senior positions in other Departments throughout her career, having previously worked in the Departments of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Tourism and Sport and in the Office of the Tánaiste. 

Joan Gordon Assistant Secretary 


Joan Gordon
Chief Appeals Officer
Social Welfare Appeals Office


Chief Appeals Officer
Joan Gordon is the Chief Appeals Officer of the Social Welfare Appeals Office. The Office provides an independent and accessible appeals service with regard to entitlement to social welfare payments and insurability of employment. Joan is responsible for the overall management of the service.

Joan has held a number of posts in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection throughout her career.



Devesh Singh
Acting Chief Medical Officer


Chief Medical Officer (Acting)
Dr Singh is the acting Chief Medical Officer with responsibility for the medical review and assessment service, for the Department’s illness, disability and carers’ schemes.

He has extensive working experience in the Irish Health Care setting since 1997 and held posts in various HSE acute care hospitals, followed by experience in family medicine and occupational health.

He has been with the Department since 2009 and contributed to research and development of certification guidelines incorporating ICD-10 coding for illness durations -  
(*International classification of Disease) and medical training in disability assessment and management.

Dr Singh is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Edinburgh, and Member of Irish Society of Occupational Health.

Last modified:02/09/2019