How we're governed

The Executive Director team, led by Ibec CEO Danny McCoy, is responsible for implementing the strategy set by the Ibec Board.

Our forward-looking Executive Director team is made up of dedicated, focused and experienced executives. Working with each other and with our employees around Ireland and in Brussels, their knowledge and experience come together to make a difference for all our members and stakeholder groups. Our leadership team is responsible for implementing the strategy and the day-to-day activities of the organisation.


Danny McCoy CEO, Ibec, Irish Business & Employers Confederation

“In creating a big vision for either a society or a business, people have to see their role and contribution as both valued and realisable.”

Danny McCoy is Chief Executive Officer of Ibec since 2009. Ibec is Ireland’s largest business representative organisation and the country’s largest lobbying group. It has 285 staff in nine locations and has 39 sectoral brands with substantial presence within the European Union through Ibec’s Brussels office. He is a member of the Irish Tripartite Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF).

He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy, Honorary Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineers, Adjunct Professor Trinity College Dublin Business School and Vice President of the Statistical & Social Inquiry Society of Ireland and Independent Non Executive Director of Iput Real Estate.

He has held lecturing posts at University College London, University of Oxford, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University. He has been senior economist at the Central Bank of Ireland and the Economic & Social Research Institute as well as being a consultant to the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic

Danny McCoy
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @ibec_irl
Liam O'Donoghue Deputy CEO/COO

"We need to continuously innovate and adapt in terms of both the services we provide and how those services are delivered to our members"

Chief Operations Officer & Deputy Chief Executive Officer (2011 to date). Formerly Finance Director and then Chief Operations Officer, Byrne Wallace Solicitors, and Director of Operations (EMEA), Software Spectrum. As a fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants together with qualifications in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, Liam O’Donoghue’s experience encompasses senior positions within FMCG, pharma, technology and professional services, both nationally and internationally.

Liam O'Donoghue
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @ibec_irl
Maeve McElwee Executive Director, Employer Relations

“Being open to different approaches and ways of thinking is critical in employer relations as the pace of change in our workplaces accelerates driven by new technology, increasing diversity and globalisation.”

Executive Director, Employer Relations (2015 to date). With Ibec since 2000 in senior positions including Head of Industrial Relations and Human Resources Traded Services, and Director of the North East Region. A graduate of Trinity College, prior to joining Ibec, Maeve McElwee worked with the World Bank in Washington DC.

Maeve McElwee
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @ibec_irl
Fergal O'Brien Executive Director, Lobbying & Influence

“Ireland has an ever-growing role to play on the international stage as our economy becomes more globalised and businesses are increasingly internationalising their footprints.”

Executive Director, Lobbying & Influence. Previously an economic consultant to the public and private sectors with Fitzpatrick Associates, and an economist with the Irish Dairy Board. BBS and MBS in Economics from UL, member of the National Competitiveness Council, Chair of BusinessEurope’s Economic and Finance Committee and a council member of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies.

Fergal O'Brien
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @OBrienFergal
Sharon Higgins Executive Director, Membership & Sectors

“We are committed to championing policies that enable a solid, transparent, sustainable and business-friendly regime, ensuring Ireland remains a great place to do business over the long term.”

Sharon is a member of Ibec’s Executive Director Team holding the position of Executive Director, Membership & Sectors. With Ibec since 1996, she has held a number of other senior positions including Director of Member Services, Head of Sectors, Director of Irish MedTech; and Assistant Director, BioPharmachemical Ireland. She holds an BSc and MSc in Industrial Chemistry (UL) and was awarded a distinction in the Diploma in Company Direction by the Institute of Directors.

Sharon Higgins
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @ibec_irl
Jackie King Executive Director, Ibec Global

“Enhancing support for and engagement of our members and firms that do business in, with and through Ireland to create more opportunities for Irish businesses, strengthens our competitiveness and expands our international reach, profile and influence on issues globally that have the greatest impact on our economy and society.”

Previously Chief Operating Officer at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Ottawa, Canada office of a leading international public affairs and strategic communications consulting firm. Jackie’s experience includes leading and managing multiple, complex national and international client files, and counselling officials, boards, and senior executives in almost every sector and industry in the Canadian economy on national and international issues and opportunities.

Jackie King
Phone +32 (0) 2740 1430
Social @jackieaking
Paula Cain Executive Director, Commercial (Services)

“Growth and Scale are critical elements of Ibec’s strategy. We will grow our existing business as a professional member services organisation and build market leading businesses in adjacent niches pivoting within Ibec’s core capabilities”

A commercial leader with a strong track record built over 20 years with telecommunications company BT working in both the Irish and UK markets. Most recent experience has been as a Growth Strategy Consultant with Integrity 360, a software technology company in rapid growth phase. Previously General Manager roles in BT UK supporting significant revenue streams and Head of Strategy and Contract Management in BT Ireland leading the strategy for Ireland and Wholesale markets.

Paula Cain
Phone (01) 605 1500
Social @ibec_irl