The work of EIL Intercultural Learning is overseen by a Board of 10 volunteers who meet on a regular basis throughout the year. All members of the Board have previously participated on EIL programmes and do not receive any payments or emoluments for their work. Board members are elected each year by the members of EIL. The members of the Board are:



Niamh Hill

Niamh has been involved with EIL since 2009 when she received a Travel Award to Hong Kong. Subsequently, in 2013, she spent 6 weeks volunteering in India teaching English in a local primary school on an EIL programme.  Niamh was first elected to EIL’s Board in 2017 and became Vice-Chairperson in 2018, as part of which role she has represented EIL at a number of EFIL and AFS meetings and conferences.  Niamh holds a BCL and LLM from UCC and has practised as a solicitor in Cork since qualifying in 2012.  She currently works as Legal Counsel for a large Irish company.  Her other voluntary work includes over 10 years as a girl guide leader with the Catholic Guides of Ireland (CGI) and she has been a member of CGI’s Regional Executive Board for the past 6 years.

Aleks Photobr

Vice Chairperson

Aleksandra Ananica

Aleks holds an Honours Bachelor’s in Business and Information Systems from Cork Institute of Technology. In 2016 she had received a Travel Award to go to Vietnam, where she spent 6 weeks teaching English to kids and adults in a local school. Since then Aleks has become an active member of EIL network and a volunteer. She is part of the Global Education Committee (GEC) and a Student Abroad Volunteer (SAV). She has also represented EIL at a number of events and trainings organised by the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) and AFS. Aleks currently works as an IT Auditor for an Irish owned Multinational company in Dublin. 


Vice Chairperson

Giulia Di Capua

I am Italian living in Dublin for 5 years. I was an AFS exchange student in Germany in 2007/2008 and after I came back from my experience I became a Volunteer for AFS Italy. It is then that I started becoming more passionate about the topics of Intercultural learning and global citizenship. I was lucky enough to be able to participate in local, national and international events within the volunteer Network in Italy, which gave me great insights and helped me develop great organizational and communication skills. I got Involved with EIL in 2016 when some fellow AFS volunteers introduced me to the association. Since joining EIL I have becomevery active and I try to participate as much as I can to the daily activities. The thing that I love the most is seeing the big impact that EIL has on programme participants and consequently on the larger communities they are part of and it is thrilling to be able to help create that change. In my personal life I love traveling and I am interested in communication and languages. I also love sports in general and I am part of a volleyball team.


Paul Conway

“I first became involved in EIL after a Homestay in Communist Poland in 1986. Afterwards, I was asked to represent EIL on the National Youth Council. When the EIL Board was established in the late 1980s I was elected and have served continuously since then, including holding the position of Chairperson on a number of occasions. Married to Brenda, we live in Dublin and have a busy household with 3 adult children. After spending most of my working life in the semi-state and private sector in Dublin Port I have recently started a new career in the civil service. As an active volunteer in the Red Cross I am responsible for the planning and provision of First Aid and Ambulance cover at national, regional and local level. This involves regular coordination with other voluntary and statutory agencies to ensure preparedness for emergencies or severe weather conditions”.


Katy Dobey

Assistant Principal of a Dublin Gaelscoil, Katy has been involved with EIL since 2006 when she received a Travel Award to participate in a youth leadership programme in Washington DC. Katy lived for 3 years in Hessen in Germany when younger and as a student took part in a SUAS volunteer programme in India. She was first elected to the board in 2007. She has been Chair of the board since 2014, as part of which role she has represented EIL at Federation EIL and AFS international meetings and conferences. With over ten years’ experience of voluntary board service, she has a particular interest in intercultural learning, education policy and lifelong learning.

liz email photo-1Br

Liz Gordy

Liz has been involved with EIL since 2015. She started out facilitating orientations and, over time, got more involved in volunteering with the various departments in EIL. She completed a secondary school year abroad to Panama with AFS in 2002/03. This life-changing experience sparked an interest in cultures, languages and travel. Liz has lived in the United States (home country), Panama, Brazil, Italy, France, South Korea, and now Ireland. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, certificates in youth work and sustainable development, and over five years’ experience working in local and international non-profit organisations.

While in university at Florida State University- Panama, she was the president of the debate club and completed an internship at UNICEF’s Latin American/Caribbean regional office. She is passionate about global issues and social justice. In her free time she loves to cook, study languages, and promote zero-waste living.


Aidan Healy

I’m an organisational psychologist living between Dublin and London. I have been involved with EIL since 2009, when I received an Explore Award to Hong Kong. My background is in education and leadership development, where I worked for UCC, UL and RCSI for ten years. I also served as an advisor to several NGOs and volunteered in countries like South Africa. Two years ago, I co-founded a company called UnPlug and now work in the corporate sector.

Santo Leung – Cork Office_© Paul Carstairs_ArupBR

Santo Leung

I have been involved with AFS since 2006 after receiving a UNESCO Scholarship for a Study Abroad program from Australia to Japan. On returning I volunteered with AFS South Australia local chapter. In 2013 I completed a university exchange to Helsinki and connected to the local AFS chapter there and when I returned to Adelaide I completed training  to be an AFS Qualified Trainer.

 My involvement in AFS/EIL Ireland began in 2016 when I moved to  Cork  and became involved in the Study Abroad Committee. I have been involved with student orientations and I enjoy seeing the transformation participants undergo through the programs.  I am a Management Consultant for a global engineering company and hold degrees in Architectural Engineering and Corporate Finance from the University of Adelaide. On the weekends I’m often exploring Ireland or further abroad to continue my intercultural learning. 


Nicola Smyth:

I am a Business Development Manager in the education sector with over ten years experience managing key relationships involving multinational corporates and industry bodies in Ireland.

Part of my existing role involves attracting international students to study the ACCA qualification through building strategic relationships with Universities domestically and internationally. I previously worked as a regional EMEA banker and I qualified as an Accountant with ACCA. I am passionate about education and intercultural learning and look forward to supporting EIL push its mission forward.