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 - Chairperson: I've been involved with EIL since 2006 when I won a Travel Award to The "Future World Leader's Summit" in Washington DC. I joined the board later that year. Since then I have traveled to Hong Kong and Vermont on EIL programmes. I also spent ten weeks volunteering with SUAS in an education centre in Delhi, India. Growing up, I spent almost three years living in Hessen, in Germany and upon my return I finished primary school through German at St. Kilian's Deutsche Schule. I also attended the associated German Secondary School in Dublin. I love languages and I am now a primary school teacher working in a Gaelscoil in Co. Dublin. Over the years, I have really enjoyed getting to know the volunteers, network and staff of EIL. It has been a pleasure to meet and work with so many inspirational people! Recently, I have had the wonderful opportunity to step into the role of Chairperson of the Board of EIL and I have been enjoying this new and exciting challenge.
Paul Conway: "I joined the EIL Family 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 several occasions. In 2009 on the recommendation of the Board I became a member of the EIL Trust and have just become Chairperson of this group. I am married to Brenda and we have 3 teenage children. I work in the Operations Department of a European Logistics Company. Also I am an active member of the Red Cross where I use my skills and qualifications to train and support others".
Gary Cooke - Company Secretary and Treasurer: “I am from Kilkenny, currently living in London completing an engineering graduate programme 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”.
Ryan Ó Giobúin: "I’m from Connemara, and I’m currently a fourth year Sociology and Social Policy student in Trinity College. I first got involved with EIL in 2010 when I was awarded a Travel Award to the Governor’s Institutes on Current Issues and Youth Activism in Vermont. Following that wonderful experience, I volunteered the following summer on an EIL programme in Germany, and joined the EIL Development Education committee on my return to Ireland. Having just come back from a fantastic year studying at Universiteit Utrecht, I am looking forward to further engaging with the mission of EIL and would love to partake in the work being done by the Board of EIL".
Paul Quinn - Vice Chairperson: “I have had so many fantastic experiences with EIL. I became involved in 2009 as a volunteer on a Human Rights project in Nigeria and I was really fortunate to be selected for the Global Awareness Travel Award to a HIV/AIDS project in South Africa, in 2010. Since then, I’ve stayed involved with EIL, as treasurer, as a member of the Board for 4 years, a member of the Development Education Committee for 3 years, as EIL’s representative to the National Development Education Advisory Group along with lots of other great experiences and adventures! I am from Cavan and live in Dublin. Outside EIL, I’m finishing up my PhD in Politics and International Relations at UCD, I’m an advisor to the International Peace and Security Institute in Washington. I have a Masters in International Relations and in Law. I love music, travel and long walks on the beach!!!”
Damien Thompson: "I am a final year Law & Political Science student at Trinity College from Tallaght, Dublin. I have been involved in EIL since I was 16 years old when I won the Travel Award to Ecuador. Since then I have been very involved with the organisation. I represented EIL on the Development Education Youth Advisory Board to the National Youth Council for 2 years and later joined the EIL Development Education Committee. I was then inspired to volunteer abroad with EIL and I carried out a 10-week human rights placement in Mexico City in 2013. I have recently returned after a fantastic Erasmus year studying at the University of Bologna. Besides EIL, I have also been very involved on campus especially with the Amnesty International Society and Trinity Orchestra".
Aidan Healy: “I am from Cork but currently living in Dublin! I work in education and I first became involved in EIL in 2009 when I received a Travel Award to Hong Kong. I have really enjoyed being involved with EIL over the past eight years, as I love hearing the experiences of volunteers and travel award holders who have been all over the world. In my work and personal life, I have been lucky to travel to over fifty-five countries across six continents, including spending time volunteering in South Africa. I have a degree in Applied Psychology and a Masters in Leadership, and have lots of experience working with young people and adults in different environments. I am excited for the opportunity to apply my knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to serve EIL in the future”.
Niamh Hill: “A Corkonian born and raised, I’m still living in the real capital where I work as a solicitor (whilst harbouring mad notions of being a singer/baker/professional traveller). I first became involved with EIL in 2009 when I was lucky enough to receive a Travel Award to Hong Kong. This was such a great start to my relationship with EIL, an amazing experience with really wonderful people. In 2013, I decided I’d like to volunteer abroad and EIL was the first organisation that came to mind! I spent 6 weeks in India teaching English in a local primary school. I am also a girl guide leader here in Cork with Catholic Guides of Ireland (CGI) and am a member of CGI’s Regional Executive Board”.
Catherine Ryan: “Joining the EIL Family back in 2014, I quickly immersed myself as a volunteer. I saw the opportunity and potential for development and engagement offered by EIL which is something I am undoubtedly passionate about. I am currently studying Corporate Law in NUI Galway and I am an active member of the NUI Galway Students' Union and the Union Students of Ireland. The past few years has given me ample opportunities to learn; I've met innumerable new people, visited new places, and most importantly had the opportunity to learn about myself and to grow as a person. I strive on being actively engaged and look forward to developing connections for the benefit of the communities and networks we belong to. Not only have I traveled on the Governors Institute Vermont with EIL, I decided to further my involvement by volunteering abroad in Guatemala with EIL. I have a unique perspective on the work of EIL from having been both a host family and a host participant, to receiving a travel award and to being an interviewer for the next round of Travel Award applications. I understand engagement and development, these being the main goals I work towards”.
Evelyn Flynn: "I am currently living in Dublin and working in healthcare. I have had a wealth of wonderful experiences thanks to EIL and it's mission. My first contact with EIL was as a Travel Award Winner in 2012 when I spent 10 weeks on a volunteer project in Argentina and I have been involved with EIL since then. I thoroughly enjoy working with its various groups of people who hold similar values and who are dedicated to increasing awareness of global issues. I am continuously inspired by the work of EIL's many staff and volunteers and hope to remain a part of its work for time to come. I have been involved with the Special Olympics on a local level for 4 years now. I act as volunteer coordinator to a local club as well as assisting in coaching at our weekly training sessions. I have been involved with the Serious Fun Network since 2013. Serious Fun is a network of camps which provide respite and therapeutic residential experiences to children with serious medical conditions. I have worked and volunteered in both Barretstown, the Irish member of the network and The Painted Turtle, its Californian sister. My various roles include development of programming suitable for campers ages 7-17 , with emphasis this past summer on Development Education programming"