Appointment of Non-Executive Chair to the Public Health Agency

Date published: 27 October 2023

The Department of Health has announced the appointment of a Non-Executive Chair to the Public Health Agency.

Mr Colin Coffey has been appointed as Chair of the Public Health Agency from 1 November 2023 to a date not later than 31 October 2027.

The Chair position attracts remuneration of £36,904 per annum with a time commitment of 3 days per week.

This appointment is made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland.

The Public Health Agency was established under Section 12 (1) of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009.  The overall aim of the Public Health Agency is to improve the health and social well-being of the population and the quality of care provided, and to protect the population from communicable disease or emergencies or other threats to public health. As well as the provision or securing of services related to those functions, the Public Health Agency will commission or undertake programmes of research, health awareness and promotion.

The Board of the Public Health Agency comprises 4 Executive Members including the Chief Executive, a Non-Executive Chair and 7 Non-Executive Directors.  

Notes to editors: 

1. Mr Colin Coffey’s professional career was within the Agri-Food sector where he held many senior Board positions with UK Companies. Mr Coffey has extensive experience of increasing Shareholder value and better governance using a mix of leadership skills, practical experience, risk management as well as acting as a mentor to the Board members. He is particularly interested in the development of leadership skills that will lead to more effective and sustainable organisations.  Mr Coffey is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and is an experienced assessor for the IoD in their Chartered Director programme.  Mr Coffey holds the Chair position at Natural World Products, an organics company targeting sustainable climate-focused solutions that will address key structural problems within Northern Ireland to deliver positive outcomes for our environment.  Mr Coffey currently holds 2 other public appointments: one with The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs where he is Chair of the AgriFood & BioSciences Institute.  This appointment which commenced in April 2019, attracts an annual remuneration of £28,049, and has a time commitment of 3.5 days per month. Mr Coffey’s other public appointment is with the Department for the Economy as a Non-Executive Director with Invest NI. This appointment, which commenced in April 2020, attracts an annual remuneration of £13,577 and has a time commitment of 3 days per month.

2. Appointments to the Public Health Agency are made by the Department of Health.

3. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Mr Coffey has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last five years.

4. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by e-mail  

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6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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