Professor Monica McWilliams Fund Development Panel Chair
Monica is a professor in the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University in Northern Ireland. She recently served on a three-person panel established by the Northern Ireland government to make recommendations on the disbandment of paramilitary organizations in Northern Ireland. During the Northern Ireland peace process, Monica co-founded the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party and was elected as a delegate to the Multi-Party Peace Negotiations (1996-1998). She was also elected to serve as a member of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly (1998-2003). Monica is a signatory of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and chaired the Implementation Committee on Human Rights on behalf of the British and Irish governments. She was the Oversight Commissioner for prison reform in Northern Ireland (2011-2015) and the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (2005-2011). As Chief Commissioner, she delivered the advice on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland to the UK government as mandated by the peace agreement. Monica received, with other party leaders, the John F. Kennedy Leadership and Courage Award for her role in delivering the peace agreement in Northern Ireland.
Rev. Dr. Lesley Carroll
Lesley was ordained in 1988 and has worked in congregations in North Belfast for 30 years. Her focus has been on rebuilding communities, community capacity building and enabling people to reach across divides. Lesley has worked extensively with victims and survivors and was a member of the Consultative Group on Dealing with the Past which brought proposals to government in 2009. She was an advisory member of the Victims Forum 2012 -2014. Lesley also works with prisoners and has had significant involvement in rehabilitation work. In June 2015 she was appointed Deputy Chief Commissioner at the Equality Commission, a post which she still holds. In September 2016 she moved from a congregation to become the Voice of the Victim Manager at Victim Support NI, working on policy and advocacy for victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.
RoseMarie is from Cavan, and was educated in Dublin City University (BSc in Computer Applications), and Antioch University Seattle (MSc in Management). After 20 years working in software design in Seattle, she decided to follow another passion and pursue filmmaking. Her first feature “Wave Goodbye to Dinosaurs” is currently in development. She writes and has published articles in Vancouver and Ireland. She is board member of the US based NGO - Center for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria. She is a former board member of Irish Network USA, and is one of the founding members and the former first President of Irish Network Seattle. She has volunteered with several non-profits in the Seattle area.
Born in Dublin and educated in University College Dublin (BA); Australia National University (MA) and Queens University Belfast (PhD) Avila was awarded an Hon. Doctorate from Queens University Belfast in 2013 in recognition of her services to the community and appointed Honorary Professor with the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster. Avila has worked in the community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland since 1975. She was appointed as the first Women’s Officer for the Transport & General Workers’ Union for Ireland in 1990 and served as Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland for 10 years from 1994-2014 . She was Director – Policy & Strategy with the Global Fund for Community Foundations from July 2014- February 2016. Avila is a member of the Working Group for Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace and has written extensively on community development, philanthropy, women issues and conflict transformation. She currently works as a consultant with The Social Change Initiative, an international NGO working to support activism and advocacy on human rights, refugee/migrant rights and peacebuilding.
Called to the Bar in 1978 and QC since 2001. He is an active member of the Criminal Bar Association, the Family Bar Association and the Personal Injury Bar Association. Brian is the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Pro Bono Unit and has served for many years on both the Bar and Executive Councils carrying out many functions in support of the profession. Areas of Practice: Professional Negligence & PI Claims, Family Law, Commercial Law, Pen Portraits. Mediation Focus: Civil & Commercial Mediation, Family Mediation, Workplace & Employment Mediation, General Mediation.
John McGettrick is recently retired and has had a supportive relationship with many community and voluntary sector groups in Northern Ireland, including Gingerbread, Women’s Aid, North Belfast Resource Centre, local Advice Centres and many local groups in North and West Belfast. A partner in the firm Flynn and McGettrick, with 2 practices in Belfast, they have been operating since 1979 and specialise in family law, criminal law, wills and probate.
Joe is a retired banker with 37 years experience working in London, Dublin and Belfast. He is currently Chair of the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company. Joe is also Vice Chair of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and has been a Board Member of Abbeyfield and Wesley Housing Association since 2003. Joe was appointed Chair of Abbeyfield and Wesley in July 2016.
Niall is a practicing solicitor, having graduated from QUB in 1998 and is a partner at KRW Law LLP, a leading human rights practice, based in Belfast. The practice is instructed by a significant number of clients engaged in legacy litigation relating to conflict related deaths and injuries, appearing for those bereaved as a result of atrocities such as Loughinisland, Loughgall, Claudy, Clonoe, Kingsmill, the Dublin-Monaghan and McGurks Bar Bombings, the Glennane Gang series of killings, Ormeau Road Bookmakers, the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombing amongst others. Niall is instructed on behalf of several families to act at the reopening of the ‘John Stalker / Shoot to Kill’ Inquests, relating to the murders of 6 unarmed men in 1982 by the RUC.
Niall is a Director of Belfast based NGO, Relatives for Justice and has made representations at the European Parliament in Brussels, to the EU Human Rights Commissioner in Strasbourg and also to the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva as well as having presented lectures to Universities in Washington, Pittsburgh, Jersey City and Fordham University New York.