Áine Kerr Announced as New Chair of Gaisce Council

Áine Kerr Announced as New Chair of Gaisce's Council

Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has announced the appointment of Áine Kerr as the new Chair of the Council of Gaisce – The President’s Award.  Áine is an award-winning entrepreneur and broadcaster and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role.

Making the announcement, Minister O’Gorman said “I am delighted to appoint such an eminently qualified person as Ms Kerr to this important position.  Ms Kerr is an award winning entrepreneur and broadcaster. She is a current member of the Gaisce Council and in addition is Chair of social innovation fund Rethink Ireland and the girls’ education initiative the Shona Project. She has worked for Ireland’s broadsheet newspapers and public service broadcaster, start-ups and platforms, and also won multiple awards. She embodies all of the qualities that the President and I believe are essential to the role of Chair of the Council of Gaisce”.

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins welcomed Áine’s appointment: May I congratulate Áine Kerr on her appointment as Chair of the Gaisce Council. Áine brings a wealth of experience to this important role and has been a strong supporter of Gaisce during her time to date as a member of the Gaisce Council. May I wish her the very best as she begins her new role.

Commenting on her appointment, Áine Kerr said: “I consider it an enormous privilege to be appointed to chair the Gaisce Council. As a bronze medal recipient at age 15 and as a member of the Gaisce Council since 2021, I’ve seen the immense impact this award can have in the lives of our young people in helping them find their tribe, their calling, their inner self belief, their sense of place, their own unique sense of citizenship and how to contribute to the world around them. 

I believe in the capacity of our young people to build an Ireland founded on the Gaisce principles of inclusion, equality, respect, excellence and empowerment. I believe Gaisce is one of the greatest equalisers in Ireland, attracting young people in all of their diversity from Oberstown Children Detention Campus and young adults in prisons to young Irish travellers and young people from disadvantaged communities. 

I take seriously the responsibilities as chair of the Gaisce Council to help shape the 2025-2028 strategy, to ensure this incredible organisation continues to thrive and scale, to realise the potential of this generation of 14 to 25 year olds from every corner of Ireland as we enter into the 40th year anniversary of the President’s Award.

Being at the cusp of celebrating 40 years of impact is made possible by an incredible team in Gaisce led out by CEO Avril Ryan and by the ever creative and innovative John Cunningham whose term as chair now concludes. 

John leaves an incredible legacy after two terms in office wherein he succeeded, in particular, in ensuring that young people from diverse backgrounds had the opportunity to realise their innate potential and purpose.  I feel very proud and honoured to take the baton from him. 

I’m grateful to Minister Roderic O’Gorman and his team for entrusting me with this honour and I look forward to playing my part with the Gaisce team and Council, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the President of Ireland and his office in scaling one of the greatest young people centric organisations this country has to offer. 

To quote the current viral sensation that is the rap song from Cruinniú na nÓg ‘The Spark’:  “Think you can stop what we do? I doubt it. We got the energy, we’ll tell you all about it. I searched for my spark, and I found it.

I hope and believe Gaisce will continue to be part of that spark.”

Avril Ryan, Chief Executive of Gaisce – The President’s Award said: “I am absolutely delighted that Áine has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Gaisce.  She brings with her a vast amount of strategic experience and a firm belief in Gaisce’s mission, vision and values. Áine takes the helm of the Council at a particularly exciting time, as we gear up for our 40th Anniversary in 2025, and I know that she will play an integral part in bringing these celebrations to life.  I very much looking forward to working with Áine, and I have no doubt that the organisation will continue to thrive under her stewardship over the coming years.”

Áine Kerr is an award winning entrepreneur and broadcaster. She was co-founder of Kinzen, acquired by Spotify, and Managing Editor of Storyful, acquired by News Corporation.

She is a two-time graduate of Dublin City University with a Bachelor of Education (B’Ed) and Masters in Journalism (MAJ). She holds a Masters in Business Practice with University College Cork (UCC). She is a Fellow of the Sulzberger Leadership Program in Columbia University, NYC. She has certificates with Cornell University and Harvard University in financial accounting and project management, an Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Executive Coaching with Kingstown College.

A former Global Head of Journalism Partners at Facebook in New York, Áine has worked for Ireland’s main broadsheet newspapers.  Áine is also a qualified and accredited Executive Coach and is the host of her own show Reignite on RTÉ Radio One.

Áine was a member of the Gaisce Council prior to her appointment as chair.  In addition, she is chair of Rethink Ireland (100 million euro social impact fund) and chair of The Shona Project (education initiative for young girls). She is also a member of an advisory committee to focus on women and women’s stories in the national cultural collections, appointed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Within this committee, she chairs a subgroup.

She has been recognised with an Alumni Award by DCU, awarded Woman of the Year in Media by Irish Tatler 2017, VIP Eir Power of Women award in 2022 for digital and technology and a Woman of Vision award for business and technology in 2023.

Monaghan football is one of the great loves and heartaches of her life.

Her real boss in life is her five year old daughter Anna Maya – Anna after her own mother and Maya after Maya Angelou whose writings have been a great inspiration to Áine in life.

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