Dara Ryder is Chief Executive Officer of AHEAD, having previously managed AHEAD’s digital presence and developed a suite of online CPD programmes relating to inclusive practice in his role as Digital Media and eLearning Manager there.
After graduating from Queens University in 2005, Dara joined Dun Laoghaire College of Further Education as a lecturer, where he became interested in inclusive education when working first-hand with students with disabilities in his classroom. When the opportunity arose in 2008, he joined AHEAD where he has been working ever since on creating inclusive environments in education and employment for people with disabilities.
Dr Fiona Maloney is the Director of the National Tertiary Office, within the Higher Education Authority. In her role as Director her key focus is the advancement of partnerships between the ETBs and HEIs to develop a new model for joint further and higher education degree programmes that strengthen learner pathways and ensure access for everyone. The National Tertiary Office, in collaboration with ETB and HEI partners is advancing joint further and higher education degree across 13 disciplines this year.
Prior to this, Fiona was the Director of Further Education and Training with Education and Training Boards Ireland, from 2017 until 2023. Fiona has held a wide-ranging portfolio in the field of Further Education and Training and has a depth and breadth of sectoral knowledge that encompasses the delivery of complex transformational projects: systems planning, development and delivery, corporate governance, financial accountability, and risk management.