Key people

Chief Executive Officer - Ray Dolan

Ray DolanRay Dolan is safefood’s Chief Executive Officer and leads the Senior Management team.

Formerly Director of Corporate Operations with safefood, Ray is a qualified CIPFA accountant and holds a Masters in Public Administration. He is also the current Chair and Board Member of the audit committee for the Institute of Public Administration and a member of the audit committee for the Ulster Scots Agency.

“At safefood, it’s vital that we see both the big picture – how our work is informed by the latest research and building strong links with our stakeholders - and how that translates into communicating with the public through our integrated marketing campaigns and information resources.”

Ray has previously held positions with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the Controller and Auditor General and the European Space Agency. Ray has a keen interest in the management of change and corporate governance. He has taken part in leadership challenge programmes and has also lectured in management accounting.

Director, Food Science - Dr Gary A. Kearney

Gary KearneyDr Gary A. Kearney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD, is Director of Food Science with safefood. Dr Kearney leads the chemistry/toxicology and microbiology disciplines within the organization and has lead responsibility in managing the research programme and specialised laboratory services for safefood.

A graduate of University College, Cork with an MSc in Organic Chemistry and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry, Dr Kearney previously spent nine years in the field of national and EU legislative food compliance with the Health Service Executive in Galway and Cork prior to joining the organisation. Having initially served as Laboratory Liaison Manager and then Corporate Operations Manager, he was previously responsible for the development of the organisations’ scientific co-operation and linkages between food safety laboratories on the island, and performance management.

In addition to further training at Harvard Business School, Dr Kearney graduated with an MA in Health Care Management in 2001 from the Institute of Public Administration, Dublin and has also served as a member of the Board of Food Safety Authority of Ireland from 2000-2006.

Director, Corporate Operations - Patricia Fitzgerald

Patricia Fitzgerald profile picPatricia Fitzgerald is safefood’s Director of Corporate Operations with responsibility for accounting and finance, resource management, IT and corporate governance.

A qualified chartered accountant, Patricia has over twenty years experience in a variety of diverse commercial and public sector organisations including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Investor Compensation Company Limited, eBizz Consulting, CEVA and the Lafferty Group.

She holds a Bachelor of Education and has also completed a MBSc in Corporate Leadership and her other areas of interest include change management, negotiation and leadership skills.

Director, Marketing and Communications - Dr Aileen McGloin

Aileen McGloin profile picDr Aileen McGloin has recently been appointed as interim Director of Marketing and Communications at safefood. Her role is to lead safefood’s communications programme to encourage and support citizens to change food related behaviours in relation to both food safety and healthy eating.

Prior to that, Dr McGloin was safefood’s Communications Manager for Digital and Health. Combining her background in food, health and behaviour change with experience in PR, marketing and digital communications, she led safefood's digital communications since 2010.

Aileen holds a 1st Class honors degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster and a PhD in obesity in children. She has 20 years of experience working in research, management and health communication roles across the food industry, public relations, academia and public service.

Director, Human Health and Nutrition - Dr Catherine Conlon

Profile photo of Dr Catherine ConlonDr Catherine Conlon MB, BCh, BAO, DCH, DObs, MPH, MFPHMI is Director of Human Health and Nutrition with safefood. She directs the public health and nutrition functions of the organisation.

Catherine has a medical degree from UCD; a Masters in Public Health from UCD and is a Member of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland. She has worked as a general practitioner in Cork, a lecturer in the School of Public Health, UCC at undergraduate and post graduate level, and also as Senior Medical Officer in the Department of Public Health in the HSE South, St Finbarr’s Hospital Cork.

Dr Conlon has published widely on themes of health and wellbeing and has a particular interest in addressing biodiversity and sustainability. She is currently a board member of the Obesity Prevention Steering Group in Northern Ireland, the Special Advisory Group on Obesity in the Republic of Ireland and Royal College of Physician’s obesity specialist group and the Health Research Board Centre for Diet and Health.