New Chair and Members appointed to the Board of National Museums NI

29 Oct 2023

The Secretary of State (NI), the Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has announced the appointment of a new Chair, Gordon Milligan OBE, and seven new Board Members to National Museums Northern Ireland.

All eight individuals took up their roles on 1 October 2023. They bring a range of skills and attributes to the Board, with backgrounds covering areas such as: leadership; delivering results; governance and accountability; collaborative working; commercial management; and financial management. This experience will strengthen the Board, allowing it to champion and advance the work of National Museums Northern Ireland.


Gordon Milligan OBE

Mr Milligan had served as an Executive at Translink where his responsibilities have included transformational change and leadership across corporate teams. Having served a period as Interim Chief Executive he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 2015. His experience includes leadership roles within large Global and National organisations including Bombardier Aerospace, Nortel Networks and Dubia Agrifood. He has served as an Executive member on both private and public sector boards. He has Non-Executive board experience and is currently Chair of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland, Chair of the Labour Relations Agency and is a visiting professor at the Ulster University Business School. Gordon was awarded the OBE in the 2023 New Year Honours for serve to Business and Human Resources Management in Northern Ireland. He has an MBA, is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

Keith Charlton

Mr Charlton has a wide range of experience in the private sector across the retail, manufacturing, tourism and leisure industries. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded award-winning Belfast based tourism business Bunk Campers and the ecommerce leisure retailer Camperco. As Group Managing Director, he was responsible for leading and developing group strategy and overseeing all commercial aspects of the business. He has European board level risk management and corporate governance experience and purchasing, sales and marketing expertise from various industry roles. He does not currently hold any other public appointments

Ryan Cornett

Mr Cornett has several years’ experience managing investment portfolios for a broad range of clients including private individuals, trusts, charities and corporate entities. He is on the board of a local charity, the John Hewitt Society, which provides opportunities for individuals across Northern Ireland to explore issues of difference and identity through literature and creative writing. He does not currently hold any other public appointments.

Sally Montgomery OBE

Dr Montgomery OBE is a trained educator and was formerly Head of Education at the Ulster Museum, Project Director and founding CEO of W5. At W5 she used her experience of exhibition management, including communication and marketing plans. As a Director of the Titanic Foundation, she was successfully involved in securing funds for heritage assets. She has held a number of Board and advisory positions and is currently a member of the Historic Monuments Council (unremunerated).

Peter Osborne

Mr Osborne has run his own business within the private sector, and held executive and non-executive roles with organisations that have managed significant capital and revenue expenditure, and managed relationships and major change. He currently sits as an Independent Member on the Northern Ireland Policing Board, as well as its Audit & Risk Assurance Committee.

Therese Rafferty

Ms Rafferty is a graduate of Queen’s University, the University of Ulster, and an alumnus of Boston College, Massachusetts, Therese has held senior roles over a career of 35 years in higher education and local government, the most recent being Head of Regeneration in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council. Her experience includes the delivery of a wide portfolio of capital development programmes and environmental initiatives, financial and corporate planning, performance and risk management, and corporate governance. Therese is a previous member of the Programming Committee for the FE McWilliam Gallery and Studio in Banbridge and oversaw its construction and accreditation. She has held a number of previous Board positions and is currently a Board member of the Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute.

Fiona Ryan

Ms Ryan is the Commissioner for Survivors of Institutional Childhood Abuse. Her previous leadership roles include Chief Executive in the areas of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and public health advocacy. She was appointed by the Irish Department of Justice to the monitoring committee of successive national Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Strategies. Her early career was spent in media as a journalist and External Affairs. She has worked in Belfast, Dublin and at European level. She has a Masters in Business Administration.

Mark Walker

Mr Walker has gained extensive financial and strategic management knowledge and experience as a senior manager in banking with Danske Bank and as Group Finance Director at Randox Laboratories, an international private sector biotech organisation. His experience is underpinned by knowledge and understanding of corporate finance and strategic and financial management. He is a Board Member of NIACRO, Thrive Audience Development and is an independent member of Clanmil Housing Association Audit & Risk Committee. He does not currently hold any other public appointments.