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:



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.


Vice Chairperson

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.


Company Secretary and Treasurer

Gary Cooke

Gary Cooke – Company Secretary and Treasurer: “I am project engineer working in London with Eversholt Rail. I completed my Masters in Mechanical Engineering with Business in UCD. I first got involved with EIL in 2010 when I received one of the travel scholarships to Vermont for the Governor’s Institute for Current Issues and Youth Activism. I have been on the Board since the start of 2014 and I am currently a member of the Audit Committee. In 2013, I studied abroad in San Diego for the year where I was fortunate enough to work for the Residential Life staff as the Programs and Marketing Intern for the International House UCSD. In summer 2014 I participated in the Washington Ireland Program which is a service and leadership programme where participants intern, complete service and live with host families in the DC area. In London I am currently volunteering with the Railway Division of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and organising a young members’ conference and a speaker competition. I have represented EIL at a number of events and trainings organised by the European Federation for Intercultural Learning (EFIL) and AFS.


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”.


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.


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.


Katie Mahon:

“I first became involved with EIL on a 3 month volunteer placement in Temuco, Chile. This trip opened my eyes to the idea of global citizenship, and why we all need to be aware of the vast inequalities across the world. Since then I have tried my best to travel, learn and share knowledge whenever possible! As a mechanical engineer my work has brought me to AIRBUS in France, pharmaceutical manufacturing in Cork, clean cookstove design in Kenya, and a German hydro power company working in rural off-grid electrification projects. At home I share my free time with organisations I admire such as The Urban Co-op grocery shop and Novas Soup Run in Limerick (and EIL!). I am a gentle activist at heart, regularly involved with campaigns to raise awareness of global poverty, social inequalities, climate change and environmental issues. I admire the ethos of EIL, promoting learning and change on the part of each participant – creating global citizens, sharing stories, and raising awareness of international issues – making a positive change one person at a time.”


Aileen O'Sullivan

I first became involved with EIL back in 2012 when, through the Volunteer Abroad Programme, I volunteered in Ghana for 3 months. That experience has lead me to become an active member of the EIL Network and subsequently join the EIL staff team for 2 years, between 2014-2016. Over the years, I have either worked or volunteered with almost every EIL department, which I am very proud of and grateful for. This has lead me to develop a great and multi-faceted understanding of the workings of EIL. I now work as Communications and Fundraising Manager for another Cork-based, international development focused charity, and have developed a strong interest in governance and programme development within the sector. I am passionate and closely align with the ethos and values of EIL, which I have tried to embody in my own life since 2012. Inequalities within society and diminished access to human rights, both internationally and domestically, are a particular bugbear and area of interest of mine. I have an Honours Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences from UCC, as well as a Masters in Sociology (Youth, Community and Social Regeneration) from UL. I am currently studying towards a Diploma in Public Relations, as I have developed an innate interest in the power of Communications…in both industry and socially. In my spare time, I volunteer with Foroige and have, most recently, have become a Sanctuary Runner.