Gaisce – Gradam an Uachtaráin – The President’s Award, Ireland’s national non-formal education youth award, has announced the appointment of Avril Ryan as the new Chief Executive Officer for the organisation.
Avril joined Gaisce in 2017 as Operations and Development Manager before taking on the role of Head of Operations and Development in 2020.
Welcoming the appointment of the new CEO, Minister O’Gorman stated:
“I am delighted to announce the appointment by Gaisce – The President’s Award of Avril Ryan as its new Chief Executive Officer. Participation in the Gaisce President’s Award programme has been a transformative experience for so many young people, enabling them to achieve their potential and contribute to their communities. Avril’s leadership and vision will be instrumental in continuing the mission of the organisation to unlock and celebrate the innate talents and abilities of all young people across Ireland.”
Avril has extensive leadership experience, having previously held various senior positions in not-for-profit organisations, including General Manager at The Ark, Ireland’s dedicated cultural centre for children where she led the implementation of multiple major projects and grants. Throughout her career she has served on many advisory groups and boards in the arts and youth sectors.
Speaking about her appointment, Avril Ryan said:
“I am delighted to be appointed CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award and build upon the great foundation that was put in place by my predecessor Yvonne McKenna. I very much look forward to working with the dedicated Gaisce Council and Staff to ensure as many young people as possible can achieve a Gaisce Award. Gaisce has made tremendous progress increasing access to the Awards and I intend to reduce barriers to participation through collaborative and inclusive initiatives so that young people from all backgrounds and life circumstances are equipped to succeed and realise their full potential.”
Commenting on Avril’s appointment, John Cunningham, Chairperson of Gaisce said:
“We are really excited about this new appointment and believe that Avril will lead the team into a very exciting and dynamic future for the organisation. Avril has been an exceptional interim leader of Gaisce, and we believe has the energy and creativity to implement the existing strategy and work with Council to develop the next one.”
Avril takes up the role as CEO with immediate effect.