The Board

Board Members are appointed by the Department for Infrastructure on the basis of open public advertisement. The number of Board members, including the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, may be no less than ten and no more than fifteen and up to four Board Members shall be members of Belfast City Council.

The management of Belfast Harbour is independent of Government and falls to the Board and the management team.

The duties of Board Members are akin to those of a company director, in particular to be accountable for the proper exercise of the statutory and administrative requirements placed upon them. 

In addition Board Members are required to:

  • Ensure high standards of corporate governance.

  • Establish the overall strategic direction of the Port having regard to the best interests of the Port and the local economy following consultation with key stakeholders.

  • Ensure that, in reaching decisions, Government policy and relevant guidance provided by the sponsor Department are taken into account.

Dr Theresa Donaldson


Dr Theresa Donaldson is Chair of Belfast Harbour and is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors. Theresa is also Vice Chair of the Eirgrid Group. Theresa previously held Non-Executive positions with NI Equality Commission and the NI Health and Social Care Board. She is a member of the LCJ Solicitors’ Disciplinary Panel and a Board member of the Centre for Effective Services and NI Appeals Committee for BBC Children in Need. She is a former Local Government Chief Executive and held several senior management positions in health and social care and legal services in NI, including as Director of Policy and Civil Service Delivery in the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission.  

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Dr Theresa Donaldson
Belfast Harbour - The Board - Joe O'Neill

Joe O'Neill


Joe was appointed CEO of Belfast Harbour on 1st January, 2018, having joined the organisation in 1997 and having held a number of prior roles within Belfast Harbour including Commercial Manager, Port Manager and Commercial Director.

Prior to joining the Port, Joe held positions with Undus Ltd and Cantrell and Cochrane Ltd. Joe was previously Chairman of the MAC theatre in Belfast, stepping down on 31st December, 2017. 

Joe is Chair of the Simon Community and Chair of the Belfast City and Region Place Partnership. He is a member of the UK Major Ports Group, CBI Regional Council, the Centre for Competitiveness and the Advisory Board of Artemis Technologies. Joe is also a Council Member of the British Ports Association and is a Board Member for Business in the Community. 

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Jane Chambers

Jane Chambers

Board Member

Jane was first appointed to the Board in February 2016. She is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, holding a Masters’ Degree in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University, Belfast.

Jane has had a long career in both contracting, consultancy and public sector environments, specialising in environmental protection and major infrastructure delivery. Most recently, Jane has worked as project manager in the delivery of the Greater Dublin Drainage project for Irish Water. Previously, she delivered project management services for Water Service/Northern Ireland Water and, ultimately, eliminated risks of Infraction Proceedings being instigated by the European Commission for non-compliance with the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive.

Diana Fitzsimons

Board Member

Diana holds Master’s Degrees in Economics and Town Planning and is a Fellow of the RTPI, the RICS and the IoD. Her career included Senior Lecturer in Planning & Development; Principal Planning Appeals Commissioner; Director of the planning consultancy Turley; and a sole practitioner planning consultant. She has extensive experience in urban regeneration, port planning, housing development and masterplanning. 

She was formerly Chair of the RTPI and the RICS NI Branches and received the UK Lifetime Achievement Award from the RICS in October 2022. Diana was a member of RICS Governing Council; a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group; deputy President of the International Federation for Housing and Planning; and Chair of Radius Housing Association. She is a Visiting Professor at Ulster University and in 2021 she was awarded Non-Executive Director of the Year by IoD NI. 

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Diana Fitzsimons
Belfast Harbour - The Board - Kevin Kingston


Board Member

Kevin was appointed to the Board in April 2021. He was the Chief Executive of Danske Bank UK from 2015 through to 2021, having previously held a number of roles in Danske Bank, Ulster Bank and KPMG. He is currently a Non-Executive Board Member of Norbrook Laboratories and the Maritime Belfast Trust. 

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, Kevin is a former President of the NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a former Chairman of the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society. He was awarded an OBE in 2022 for services to Financial Services during COVID-19.


Board Member

Deborah was first appointed to the Board in February 2016. She is also Co-Chair of the Diversity Mark Board of Assessors and is past Deputy Chair and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of Invest NI. 


Deborah is a Certified Public Accountant. Previously she was Senior Vice President of Tax at Oracle Corporation based in California. She was also a member of the boards of Planitax and Liquid Engines, both software companies; Chair of the Silicon Valley Tax Directors Group; past Chair of the Tax Committee of the American Electronics Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Executive Institute. Deborah is a past member of the Board of Queen’s University Belfast Foundation.

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Deborah Lange
Belfast Harbour - The Board - Noel Lavery


Board Member

Noel was appointed to the Board in April 2021. Prior to his retirement from the Northern Ireland Civil Service in November 2019, Noel was Permanent Secretary in the Department for the Economy. Before this he had held Permanent Secretary roles in the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the former Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

He has nearly 20 years of experience of economic development working in public sector policy, delivery and governance roles. He trained as a chartered accountant with PriceWaterhouse and the first 15 years of his career were in the private sector. He has been a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland since 1995. Noel is the current Northern Ireland Co-Chair of the US-Ireland R&D Partnership Steering Group. He is also a trustee of a number of charities.

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Stephen Martin


Board Member

Stephen was appointed to the Board in April 2021. He is the Deputy Chief Constable of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, a police service which protects Great Britain’s major nuclear infrastructure and nuclear material in transit. He was previously a police officer in Northern Ireland for nearly 34 years, concluding in 2020 as the Deputy Chief Constable of the PSNI.


Stephen is also the Non-Executive Chair of the Irish Football Association and sits on the Prince’s Trust Northern Ireland advisory committee. He is a Chartered Director, a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Gerry McGinn


Board Member

Gerry was first appointed to the Board in April 2021.  He is an experienced business leader with extensive expertise in Banking, Financial Services, the Public Sector, and Education.

He is currently an Independent Non-Executive Director of Axa Insurance, a member of the Professional Standards Board of Chartered Accountants Ireland, and Chair of the Ulster University Economic Policy Centre.

Previous Senior Executive roles include CEO of Bank of Ireland UK and First Trust Bank, and Permanent Secretary of two Government Departments: Education and Regional Development.

Previous Non-Executive Director roles include Progressive Building Society, Strategic Investment Board, Invest NI, and Capita Asset Services Ireland.

Sir Malcolm McKibbin

Board Member

Malcolm was appointed to the Board in April 2021 after holding the position of Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service from 2011 to 2017. He was the Permanent Secretary of the former Departments of Regional Development and Agriculture and Rural Development. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Queens University in 2017 in recognition of his public service. Following his retirement he led one of the five strands in the 2019 political negotiations aimed at restoring devolution.

He is an Associate of Deloitte, providing advice on Strategic Issues, an independent non-executive member of Weavers Cross Programme Board, a member of the Board of Co-operation Ireland and in 2021 assisted Sir Peter Hendy on NI aspects of the UK Connectivity Review.

Belfast Harbour - The Board - Sir Malcolm McKibbin
Belfast Harbour - The Board - Rose Mary Stalker

Rose Mary Stalker

Board Member

Rose Mary was appointed to the Board in April 2021. A Chartered engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Rose Mary has over 35 years’ industrial experience in the global automotive, aerospace and energy sectors, working for Ford, Rolls-Royce, Boeing and BP, amongst others.

Working at Director level for almost 25 years, she is the recipient of numerous awards including the European Woman of Achievement and European Automotive Woman of the Year for her role in delivering the $5Billion Ford Focus Programme.

Rose May is an experienced Chair and Board Member, having served on the Boards of Invest NI, Catalyst, Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, the Prince’s Trust and Catagen.  

She chaired the Mid & East Antrim Manufacturing Task Force and co-founded the NI Manufacturing Alliance collaborative network, and founded 4C UR Future CIC, which mobilised over 600 volunteers from over 80 businesses to inspire 6,500 young people in its latest pilot.