Our Team

The Ireland Canada University Foundation is chaired jointly by Dr. Desmond Green (Ireland), and by Mr. Mark Dobbin (Canada).


Mark Dobbin

Mark Dobbin - Joint Chair (Canada)

Mark Dobbin is the the Consul General for Ireland in Newfoundland & Labrador. Founder and President of Killick Capital Inc., a Newfoundland based private equity company, from 1998 to 2003 Mark was the Chairman and CEO of Vector Aerospace Corporation, a globally-recognized aviation repair and overhaul company. Prior to Vector he was employed for 17 years at CHC Helicopter Corporation, the world’s largest helicopter company – serving as senior vice president and a member of the Board of Directors.

Christopher Collenette

Christopher Collenette - Joint Chair (Ireland)

Chris is the Vice-President of Corporate Development for leading Canadian digital health company Think Research (TSXV: THNK), and serves as Non-Executive Director for several Irish companies involved in software development, aircraft leasing, public affairs, and retail fashion. He is also the Immediate Past Chairman of the Ireland Canada Business Association.

Chris previously worked in Ottawa as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Industry, and the Minister of Health. He also worked in Toronto for two national public affairs firms and for leading law firms on both sides of the Atlantic.

Chris holds a BA in History from Carleton University, Ottawa; an LL. B from Trinity College, Dublin; a Certificate of Accreditation from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada; a Diploma in Legal French from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paris; a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors, London; and a Diploma in Aircraft Leasing & Finance from the Law Society of Ireland.

Chris is a citizen of Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Professor Molly Byrne

Professor Molly Byrne

Molly is Professor of Health Psychology at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway where she directs the Health Behaviour Change Research Group (www.nuigalway.ie/hbcrg). This Group is a national hub and internationally-recognised centre of excellence in the application of behavioural science to health behavioural intervention development, evaluation and implementation.

Molly is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (BA) and NUI Galway (MSc and PhD). She was an ICUF James Flaherty Visiting Professor in 2017, when she visited the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC), the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Molly continues to work closely with Canadian colleagues. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Behavioural Trials Network, a global network, led by researchers at the MBMC, of professionals working to improve the quality of clinical trials and behavioural interventions. She is a a co-investigator on the the International Assessment of COVID-19-related Attitudes, Concerns, Responses and Impacts in Relation to Public Health Policies (iCARE) study (https://mbmc-cmcm.ca/covid19/), also led by the MBMC.
Dr. J. Paul Halferty

Dr. J. Paul Halferty

J. Paul Halferty is Assistant Professor and Head of Drama Studies at University College Dublin, where he also serves as Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies. He is a theatre historian and performance studies scholar whose research examines the intersection of theatre and identity, primarily sexual, gender, national, and racial in Canada and Ireland. He is a graduate of York University (BFA), and University of Toronto (MA, PhD).

Before returning to graduate school, Paul was assistant producer at da da kamera, the theatre company of playwright and actor Daniel MacIvor and producer Sherrie Johnson, and with Johnson he also worked on “Six Stages” an international theatre festival. He served on the Board of directors of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto from 2007 to 2014, and was president of the board from 2008 to 2012.
Matthew Piggott (CPA)

Matthew Piggott (CPA) - Treasurer

Matt works as an Accountant with Ernest & Young in Galway as part of the Strategy & Transactions team. He is from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. However he now lives in Athenry, Galway with his wife and daughter. He enjoys spending time with his daughter, swimming, running and travel in his spare time.
Brenda Rawn Jordan

Brenda Rawn Jordan

Brenda Rawn Jordan is a graduate of the University of Waterloo, Canada and UCD Dublin. She worked as a councillor with adolescents before moving to Dublin in 1984. Brenda is a company director and an executive in the film industry for over 35 years.
Pa Sheehan

Pa Sheehan

Pa is Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Celtic Studies Program at the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) at the University of Toronto. He has taught courses such as Introduction to the Irish Language, Intermediate Irish, Writing Ireland, Traditional Music in Ireland and Scotland, Blasket Island Writings, Sport in Ireland, Celtic Mythology, The Celtic Book and The Celts in the Modern World.

Pa Sheehan arrived at the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) in 2020 as an ICUF teagascóir, having spent the previous year as a teagascóir at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Pa holds a BA degree in Applied Languages from the University of Limerick as well as a Masters in Languages Education (Irish and French) from the same institution. He previously taught Irish as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Montana.

With a keen interest in Gaelic sports, Pa is a playing member of the Na Piarsaigh hurling club in Toronto. As part of his work as the academic link to the Celtic Studies Course Union, he has established a GAA club in USMC, spreading the gospel of Gaelic sports campus-wide.
James Kelly

James Kelly - Chief Executive Officer

James Kelly is a graduate of UCD (BA) and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven /Louvain (MA). On graduating from Leuven, James worked for two years for Canadian Helicopters in St. John's Newfoundland, and maintains strong links with the province. As a filmmaker, his work has screened nationally and internationally, and has been funded by, amongst others, TG4, RTE, BCI, the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board. James has worked as Audience Advisor to the Arts Council, and has lectured in UCD, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Griffith College Dublin, and Independent Colleges, Dublin.

Amanda Hopkins

Amanda Hopkins - Programme Manager

Amanda is Programme Manager of ICUF and has worked in a similar capacity in The O’Reilly Foundation. She previously worked in Fitzwilton Limited for ten years and in London prior to that.