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 first became involved with EIL Ireland when I was awarded a Travel Award (now Explore) to the Governor’s Institute on Current Issues and Youth Activism in Vermont, USA. This special experience further enthused me to the idea of intercultural learning, and the following year I volunteered on an EIL Programme in Germany, joining the EIL Development Education Committee (now Global Education Committee) on my return. Now in my eight year of involvement with EIL and fourth on the Board, the mission of EIL is still as exciting for me as it was when I first became involved with the organisation, and I look forward to sharing more experiences with EIL. A Galwegian living in Dublin, I am currently working towards a PhD in Sociology at Trinity College Dublin, examining the varying rates of progression to third level education among students in Ireland".
Paul Quinn - “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!!!”
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."
Aidan Healy: "I am from Cork but currently living in Dublin! 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 nine 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 sixty 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 - Vice Chairperson: “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 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 it's various groups of people who hold similar values and who are dedicated to increasing awareness of global issues and engaging in international, educational experiences across all EIL's programs. I am continuously inspired by the work of EIL's many staff and volunteers and hope to remain a part of its work for many years to come. Currently I am a medical student studying in Dublin. I am also an avid volunteer outside the EIL network and am involved as a coach with Special Olympics and with the Serious Fun Network, including Barretstown in Kildare".