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Staff Profiles

Children in Northern Ireland employs the following members of staff.

Pauline Leeson

Pauline Leeson, CBE

Chief Executive

As Chief Executive of CiNI, Pauline is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the organisation. She chairs the Children with a Disability Alliance and the Child Poverty Alliance. Pauline also is a member of the Safeguarding Board (NI) and The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership.

In her spare time she loves walking the dog!

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Ellen Finlay

Policy Officer

As Policy Officer, Ellen is responsible for influencing policy development in a way which effectively promotes and represents the rights and needs of all children in Northern Ireland. This is achieved through providing policy analysis and direction on public policy consultations, policy briefings for members on important issues, hosting consultation and information sharing workshops, member meetings and working in partnership with government to design services that best meet the needs of children and young people. Ellen also sits on the Joint Forum.

In her spare time Ellen enjoys crafting and spending time with her family.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Roger Gowdy

Finance & Office Manager

Roger manages the finances of the organisation and oversees the office staff.

When he's not doing that, Roger enjoys relaxing with his wife, son and little dog, and being geeky about coffee, Apple products, and music.

Tel: 028 9040 1290

Melissa McMaster

Melissa McMaster

Training Administrator - Part Time

Melissa is the Training Co-ordinator for the Children’s Services Training Team & has been with CiNI for over 10 years . She is kept busy co-ordinating the yearly training calendar, working closely with outside venues and external trainers. She sets herself the challenge to have a full house on all her training days.

Outside of work Melissa loves to spend time with her husband and children. 
In any spare time she has, Melissa enjoys meeting up with friends, organising family gatherings and weekends away.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Ciaran Traynor

Learning & Development Officer

Ciaran designs and delivers learning and development activities that enhance the knowledge, skills, and resilience of participants. He aims for training to be memorable, fun and to have a positive impact on service delivery.

He is a Social Worker and retired clown who has over 20 years of experience as a consultant, trainer and coach.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Darren Curtis

Locality Development Officer

Darren is the Locality Development Officer for the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) and is based in Armagh. Darren is responsible for 6 Locality Planning Groups (LPG's) in the Southern Outcomes area: Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon, Newry and South Armagh. LPG's are partnerships between statutory, voluntary and community organisations that work with and for children, young people and their families at a local level.

Darren has been a Youth and Community Worker since 1996 and is a qualified Mental Health Nurse. In his spare time he enjoys music, cinema, crosswords, walking, cooking, gardening, buying colourful attire and waiting for Liverpool to win the league.

Tel: 028 95 363966


Kerry O'Hagan

Locality Development Administrator

Kerry works in the Southern Area Locality Planning Office providing admin support for 6 Locality Planning groups.

In her spare time Kerry is kept busy with a young family and enjoys volunteering within her children's local underage sports teams. She is also a member of a Parent Support Group for children and adults with PKU in Northern Ireland.

Tel: 028 95 363216


Danielle Thompson

Training Administrator (Temporary Cover)

Danielle is kept busy organising and co-ordinating our busy training schedule. Starting at CiNI as a student on placement, she is now a graduate in BSc Hons Social Policy and uses this to assist the Policy Officer with policy e-briefs and attending party conferences on behalf of CiNI.

In her spare time, Danielle loves going to gigs and music festivals, holidays, meeting up with friends and relaxing with her dog, Alfie!

Tel: 028 9040 1290

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