The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has appointed Mary Connaughton as its new Director for Ireland.

Mary’s appointment reinforces the CIPD’s commitment to its 5,000 strong membership in Ireland. In her role, she will work with the support of the national committee to identify opportunities for the growth and development of the HR profession in Ireland while strengthening existing links between the CIPD’s membership, branches and educational centres. An important part of her role will be to build strategic relationships with key government departments and agencies, professional bodies and HR leaders in order to highlight the value that the CIPD brings to both HR professionals and the wider business community.

She brings with her a wealth of experience having most recently headed up HR development at Ibec, the Irish business and employers association. In this role she engaged with leading companies on strategic HR and organisational development initiatives and services and delivered guidance on talent management, labour market trends, legislative and policy developments. Mary has also held a Director position at Graphite Human Resources Management, a specialist employment law compliance provider, as well as organisation development roles with the Bank of Ireland and Emerge Consulting.

Sue Upton, Members and Markets Director for the CIPD, comments: “With over twenty years’ experience in the world of HR, Mary has a fantastic foundation to lead CIPD Ireland’s next phase of growth. We have ambitious plans to build the CIPD in Ireland and create exciting new propositions for our members while ensuring that people are at the forefront of business thinking. With her experience, strategic thinking and passion for people development, Mary is ideally placed to ensure that we can deliver on this plan and we are delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Mary, who will join CIPD Ireland on July 20th 2015, comments: “As the Irish economy continues to grow it’s increasingly clear how important people management practices are in ensuring the success of organisations. I am very excited to lead CIPD Ireland through this new period of growth and opportunity. Now is the time for businesses to invest in their workforce and ensure that their people have the skills and development opportunities they need to excel. HR professionals have a key role to play here and I’m looking forward to helping our membership deliver on this and ensure that HR adds value through this exciting period of change.”

Mary succeeds Michael McDonnell who headed up the Irish team for 32 years and made a significant contribution to growing the CIPD’s presence in Ireland.