Kevin Hickey (Chief Executive Officer - CEO)
Kevin has worked in the intercultural exchange field for over 25 years, he has lived and worked as an English teacher in Mexico and was as an election observer in South Africa during the first democratic elections in 1994. He served as President of theNational Youth Council of Ireland from 2002 - 2004 and was President of the EIL Worldwide Federation from 1998 - 2002 and again from 2006 - 2008. An avid traveller and student of world issues and other cultures he lives in Cork with his wife Cecilia who is from Mexico.
Brendan Kelleher (Chief Operations Officer - COO)
Brendan studied Business and Marketing at the University of Limerick and worked in related fields for a number of years before moving to Montreal, Canada in 1998 in order to experience a different lifestyle and culture. A career change led him to Brazil where he became a partner in a small language school and where he worked for 6 years before returning to Ireland to take up a position in EIL as Manager for Study Abroad and Volunteer Abroad programmes. In 2011 Brendan returned to Brazil where he promoted Academic Research Links between the Brazilian and Irish scientific communities on a programme funded by the Science Foundation of Ireland. In 2015 he finally moved home again in order to assume the role of COO in EIL. Having learned at first hand the benefits of living and working in different cultures he is a passionate believer in the mission of EIL to promote Responsible Global Citizenship. He speaks fluent Portuguese and is married to Fernanda who is Brazilian.
Aisling Meade (Senior Programme Manager)
Aisling started out with EIL as a group leader in the late 1990s. Taking visiting groups beyond tourism she witnessed the rich learning experiences, immense fun and friendship as they travelled around Ireland. Ever since Aisling has been devoted to offering similar experiences through creating innovative group programmes for EIL groups. Aisling has lived in Cork since her university years. She is married with two children. A Board member and past chairperson of the Munster Literature Centre, Aisling loves reading, particularly Irish literature, poetry and short stories.
Fiona O'Leary Educational and Cultural Groups Department Manager
Fiona has been a member of the EIL team since 2000, when she started as a group leader with the visiting American ‘Road Scholar’ groups.
A native of Cork, Fiona studied European history, politics and languages at the University of Limerick and has lived and worked in France and Germany. She spent time volunteering in India in 2005 and really values travel and living in another culture as a way to learn about the world and to foster understanding of each other. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading and gardening. She lives in Cork city with her husband and young daughter.
Tom Hehir – Programme Development Manager (Study Abroad)
Tom is a PhD graduate (UCC) whose research in Sub Saharan Africa helped him discover a love of travel and a keen interest in experiencing new and diverse cultures. Tom has extensive work experience in the non-profit, development and retail sectors, which has helped him develop his diverse skills in the areas of research, monitoring & evaluation, project/programme management, strategy planning, skills training & team building. Originally from Kerry, Tom now lives in Cork with his wife & two daughters. Tom is a passionate American Football fan….but we don’t hold that against him.
Gillian McCormack (Programme Coordinator: Study Abroad Department)
Having always had an interest in languages Gillian lived and worked in Germany and France as a teenager and continued this love for different cultures and languages by studying French and Archaeology in UCC and later completing a Masters in Archaeology. On completion of her degree she spent many years working with languages and amongst other cultures on archaeology sites, in language schools and secondary schools in Ireland, France and South Korea. She is passionate about the concepts of experiential learning, intercultural learning and global consciousness and knows the value of studying or living abroad in order to cultivate these areas. She really enjoys seeing her students grow and learn about themselves and the world by participating in EIL’s Study Abroad programmes. In her spare time she loves acting, telling stories and wandering this beautiful planet.
Anton Kieffer (Programme Manager EIL Explore & Volunteer Programmes)
Anton first joined EIL in 2007 as the Volunteer Abroad programme coordinator. Anton has over 15 years experience in International Volunteering, Learning Mobility, Youth Empowerment and Global Education. Originally from France, Anton has lived and worked over two years outside Europe, between West Africa and Latin America and has been living in Ireland for over 12 years. Anton holds a Masters degree in Development Studies (Kimmage DSC), a BA in Geography (University of Grenoble, France), and a Bachelor of Business (Honours) (Cork Institute of Technology). Anton lives in Cork city with his family.
Louise Aherne (Special Projects Co-ordinator)
Louise has an MA from UL in Applied Social Research, in which she focused on social class, exclusion and the sociology of the media. After the years of academic lecture halls, she found that her education really started when she began volunteering in her own local community in North Cork, and is a very ongoing process. She is interested in issues such as early childhood education, the powerful influence of the media and the role of women in society. She is passionate about community-led change, be it the building of scout hall in a small village or the revolutionary overthrowing of a dictator. She believes strongly that our future lies in increased participation and community ownership. She like to cook for friends and has been known to road-test her baking in the office.
Marian Lawlor (Senior Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups)
A member of EIL since 2007, Marian works as Senior Programme Co-ordinator of the Cultural Groups department. The role involves dealing with the logistics of the incoming educational and cultural programmes. The main programmes are Road Scholar, EIL Germany and Arcadia University. Working with Cultural Groups means I am continually welcoming people to Ireland and talking about Ireland and Irish culture. Seeing Ireland through their eyes gives me a whole new perspective on Ireland and learning how much their Irish experience means to them makes my job very rewarding.
Kate Healy (Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups)
Kate is interested in all things travel, culture and language oriented. She has lived in Madrid and previously worked as an English teacher for adults from all over the world, both in Spain and in Ireland. A lover of language, Kate is a Gaeilgeoir with an MA in Applied Linguistics from University College Cork. She really enjoys music and plays piano, bass and sings. She will listen to any genre, but has a special interest in world music. Kate started out as a Group Leader on the Road Scholar programmes in 2016 and loved the cultural experience so much that she decided to work in the Cultural Groups Department full-time.
Rosemarie O Sullivan (Programme Co-ordinator - Cultural Groups)
Rosemarie joined EIL in March 2016. She is working as a programme coordinator for the Cultural Groups department.
She is passionate about learning new languages and has always been interested in different cultures. Her family hosted foreign exchange students from all over Europe which sparked her enthusiasm for intercultural learning from a young age. Prior to commencing her third level studies, she moved to Tarragona where she hoped to immerse herself in a new culture. She worked as an English teaching aupair and maintained a focus on improving her own spoken Spanish, which she had studied for six years in secondary school. After a year in Spain, she returned to Ireland to study Town Planning and Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. She developed a deep interest in both the built and natural environment and how people interact and respond to their surroundings. Now working with incoming educational and cultural groups, Rosemarie is interested in Responsible Tourism and how her department can offer visiting groups fulfilling and meaningful experiences by connecting them to distinctive local cultures and areas of natural beauty, while minimising the negative impacts on localities.
Áine Ní Éalaí (Coordinator - Global Citizen Award)
Áine comes to EIL with a background in the Arts and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law. Growing up in a Gaeltacht area, Áine has since an early age been keenly aware of social justice issues and the power of community activism. Áine completed her MA in Modern Irish in UCC after which she travelled to South America. Although over the years she has lived in New Zealand & Berlin, she is happy to be back Leeside as Coordinator with The Global Citizen Award. Having volunteered for many years with various arts groups and NGOs, Áine greatly appreciates the opportunity this role allows her to continue her engagement with the multi-faceted area of volunteering, both internationally and domestically.
Barbara Mennella (Programme Coordinator EIL Explore)
Barbara joined EIL in summer 2016 as the Office Administrator and Coordinator for the EIL Explore programme.
Originally from Italy, with an MA in Modern Languages and Literatures, she travelled and worked in Spain and France for 2 years before arriving to Ireland in 2010. She working hard to become a real Corkonian!
With a teaching and managerial background, the Explore programme is now Barbara’s new challenge and, in her words “ it is proving a great satisfaction to be able to give such amazing travel and learning opportunities through it”.
Adam Peerbux (Facilitator/Trainer/Coordinator)
Adam has a backgrounds in Social Care and Innovation & Enterprise and worked as a youth worker with a keen interest in mental health.
Adam first got involved with EIL Ireland in 2013 when he won an award with C.I.T’s Volunteer Abroad Programme where he spent a summer working in Jaipur, India in a Women Empowerment project. Adam has stated that his journey and experience in India was “without any doubt, the greatest learning of my life to date”.
Since then Adam went on to become a member of the Global Education Committee with the rest of “The Dream Team”, has led inbound and outbound groups from Ireland, Hong Kong and the USA.
A travel lover, son of a Cork “mammy”, a Mauritian father, and living the first 11 years of his life in Britwell, Slough, England – cultures and diversity is something Adam is accustomed to and he loves meeting new people, from new places, with new insights and believes everyone has something special to bring to the party! Being an active role model is something Adam brings to the volunteer work he does with the mission - “aspire to inspire”.
Liam Shanahan (Accounts)
Liam joined EIL in March of 2011. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting roles
across the service, food and engineering industries, previous to this position.
He is responsible for the accounting function within EIL and ensures that all aspects of
the financial records and reports are maintained to the highest standards.
His primary motivation is to provide accurate financial information that in turn
allows the organisation to improve it’s operational activities and accomplish it’s
future financial objectives.
Tim O'Driscoll (IT Manager / Social Media Coordinator)
With over 15 Years experience in IT Management, Web Development, Graphic Presentation,
Document Management and Project Mangement. Tim is a troubleshooting specialist providing
support for the EIL Ireland Team.
He has a passion for Social Marketing ensuring that EIL Ireland has a strong understanding of
the best practices to use for each Social Media platform. Tim also likes to share the knowledge that he has gathered throughout his career in IT by teaching in his spare time and is also a great cook!
Stephen Delaney (Road Scholar Leader)
EIL Local Co-ordinators assist with placements and local activities in the following parts of Ireland: Cork (Charleville, Carrigaline and Youghal), Kerry, Clare, Galway, Mayo, Tipperary, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Wexford and Waterford.