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Our team

Thumbnail picture of Dr Ian Humphreys

Dr Ian Humphreys

Chief Executive

Contact Ian about: Policy; strategy; programme sponsorship; management.

Ian joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful as Chief Executive Officer in 2008 after 14 years with The Conservation Volunteers. He has strong environmental and research credentials including a PhD from The Queen's University of Belfast. At Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Ian has overseen rapid growth in Eco-Schools, the re-introduction of the Seaside Awards and the development of litter-related campaigns such as the BIG Spring Clean, monitoring including the Northern Ireland Litter Survey and research. He has also developed a range of support services for councils including the Northern Ireland Environmental Quality Forum and the litter summit. He is involved in the running of Copeland Bird Observatory in a voluntary capacity.

Ian says "All our work seeks to bring about changes in people's behaviour to create a cleaner, greener and more prosperous Northern Ireland."

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Emma Johnston

Operations Manager

Emma joined the team in June 2019. Emma has a BSc (Hons) Zoology from Queen’s University Belfast and is just completing an MSc in Communication, Public Relations and Political Lobbying at Ulster University. She enjoys exploring nature with her daughter and two dogs, especially around our local coastlines.

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Charlene McKeown

Environmental Education Manager

Contact Charlene about; Eco-Schools. 

Charlene studied combined Arts: Spanish, Irish and Geography at Ulster University, Coleraine. She then completed a PGCE in languages at Queen’s University, Belfast. After her time at university, Charlene taught for 10 years, which her main subjects being Spanish, Irish, Geography and Travel and Tourism in the post primary sector. She also a new mum to a beautiful daughter.

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Jamie Miller

LEQ Manager

Contact Jamie about; Green Flag Awards and Blue Flag Awards. 

Jamie joined the Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful team as Certifications Coordinator in January 2019. Before joining the team Jamie previously worked as a Landscape Scale Conservation Project Officer for RSPB NI and an Environmental Officer for Queen’s University Belfast. Jamie graduated from Queen’s University in 2015 with a MSC in ‘Leadership for Sustainable Development’ and a BSc (hons) in Geography. He enjoys being outdoors and spending time exploring the Mournes.

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Francesca Di Palo

Eco-Schools Project Officer

Contact Francesca about: Young Reporters for the Environment, Wrigley Litter Less and other Eco-Schools projects.

Francesca moved to NI in 2009 and after a placement with Conservation Volunteers she worked for the Derry City Council as Wildlife Education Assistant for a few months, before heading toward academia and completing a PhD in Plant and Soil Ecology at Ulster University, where she taught soon after for a couple of years as PT lecturer. She has been in between education and conservation for most of her time in NI, recently working as Biodiversity Officer for Ulster Wildlife, before joining the team of KNIB as Eco-Schools and IT Officer in August 2018. When Francesca is not in the office she likes being outdoors hiking on the Mournes, swimming at Helen’s Bay and enjoying her runs.

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Georgina Black

Eco-Schools Officer

Contact Georgina about: Eco-Schools queries, Green Flag application and the Wheelie Big Challenge. 
Georgina joined the team in June 2019. Georgina was in her Eco-Committee when at Glenlola Collegiate School in Bangor when they received their first Green Flag. She has since received a First Class Honours in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from QUB. She has worked on various conservation projects with TCV and RSPB. She loves her sheep, bees and planting trees.

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Nicola Fitzsimons

Community Development Officer

Contact Nicola about: Live Here Love Here, Small Grants Scheme, Adopt A Spot, Big Spring Clean activities and Green Flag for Parks and Open Spaces.

Nicola has been with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful since 2011, she has an MSC in Sustainable Rural Development and Project Management and a BSC in Geography both from Queen’s University Belfast. Nicola Joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful through a placement from The Conservation Volunteers and has remained part of the Campaigns team providing advice and support to volunteers through Live Here Love Here and the Small Grants Scheme. Nicola also works with the LEQ team on the Green Flag Award for Parks and Open Spaces.

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Karina Robinson

Project and Events Officer

Contact Karina about: Conferences, Events, Awards, Live Here Love Here, Clean Coasts, Live Here Love Here communications and media.

Karina works on all things Live Here Love Here, as well as conferences, awards and events across Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. Before joining the team in September 2016, Karina graduated in 2015 from Ulster University with first class honours in BSc (hons) Leisure and Events Management with Distinction* Diploma in International Professional Practice. Karina has recently qualified as a Leave No Trace Trainer and is implementing these skills as the Conservation Officer and founding member of Ulster Speleological Society and Caving Club. As a qualified power-boater, Karina loves any sort of water based sport and can often be found either on the water or exploring caves in Fermanagh. 

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Gillian McNeill

EU SWIM Project Officer

Gillian joined us in June 2020 and has worked within print media for 32 years. She also started her own full service agency in 1992, bringing a tailored personable approach to PR, design, marketing, publishing and event-management. This included producing LifestyleGreen, the first sustainability magazine and show in the UK and Ireland. 

She has worked for many charities, covering a diversity of social issues such as mental health, counselling, dementia care, support for older people and premature baby services. 

With relevance for this role, she brings experience from sustainability posts as Marketing and Communications Manager at WWT Castle Espie, PR & Communications Manager with the Bryson Charitable Group and her work locally with the Cooperative Foundation. 

With a keen interest in the urban environment, Gillian likes outdoor life and when she isn’t growing vegetables she is cooking them for dinner! Travelling, swimming, music, upholstery and upcycling or revamping preloved items all fill her free time.

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Conor Bush

LEQ Officer

Contact Conor about: Cleaner Neighbourhoods and other Local, Coastal and Marine Environmental Quality Survey.

Conor joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in January 2019 after working for 5 years with various organisations including Ulster Wildlife, Field Studies Council and Science Boffins on education projects. Conor has a BA (Hons) Marine Science from University of Ulster and an MSc Ecological Management and Conservation Biology at Queens University Belfast. He enjoys walking and can often be found by the sea looking in rockpools.

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Claire Hudson

Tackling Plastics Coordinator.

Contact Claire about; Single Use Plastics Project.

Claire joined our team as the Single Use Plastics Coordinator in December 2018. Before joining Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, she has worked in marketing with experience in both the private and charity sectors. Claire is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She loves the outdoors and serves as a Mountain Biking Officer for a local club and is a Volunteer Ranger for ORNI.

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Claire Leonard

Tackling Plastics Communications Officer

Claire joined us in June 2020 as Tackling Plastics Communications Officer. Claire has a background in Events Management, Marketing and the Music Industry, previously working as Programme Officer at Culture Night Belfast. A First-Class Honours graduate of QUB’s Sonic Arts Research Centre, she achieved a MSc. with Distinction in International Events Management from Ulster University in 2017. Claire enjoys cooking, travelling and playing tenor saxophone with local busking bands.

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Jilly Dougan

Food For Thought Project Officer

Jilly joined the team in June 2020 to help deliver the Food For Thought Project, A community response to Covid-19

She has an MSc in Agri-Food Business Development and has over 25 years’ experience in the Agri Food Industry with involvement in various food related projects. She manages the Yellow Door Kitchen Garden, growing fruit, vegetables, salad crops, micro herbs and edible flowers for the business and is on the advisory board for Belfast Food Network (Sustainable Food Cities) and on the RUAS Horticultural Committee.

She has installed edible gardening spaces for both the private and public sector (mostly hotels and restaurants), and has written a book for schools, entitled ‘Sow, Grow, Munch’ which was adopted by CCEA in collaboration with Tourism NI as part of a legacy project for N.I. Year of Food and Drink 2016, the ‘Growing for the Future’ project website.

Thumbnail picture of Victoria  Rowan

Victoria Rowan

Finance and Admin Officer

Contact Victoria about: Finance, admin, accounting and invoicing.

Victoria joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in July 2017 as our Finance and Admin Officer. She studied accounting at Belfast Titanic Quarter and has worked in financial roles within the charity sector since 2012 giving her a wealth of experience in this area.
Outside of work Victoria enjoys spending time with her nieces and spending time at the beach.

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David McCann

Digital Marketing Officer

David currently helps run our social media accounts across our various programmes. He also promotes our events and deals with social media related issues. 


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Carol Forster

Head of Operations

***On Maternity Leave***

Carol joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful as Head of Operations in 2018 after 5 years with Northern Ireland Environment Link, the umbrella body for environmental charities in Northern Ireland. As Operations Manager and Deputy CEO at NIEL, Carol provided support on strategy development, project management, membership and new business development. She has also previously worked as AONB Manager at the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust, where she delivered a range of initiatives and projects to promote best practice environmental and protected landscapes management. Carol has a background in planning, graduating from Queens University Belfast with a Msc Degree in Town & Country Planning in 2005 and for a number of years worked as a Planning Consultant in both Northern Ireland & the Republic of Ireland.

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Cathy Gorman

Eco-Schools Officer

**On Career Break**

Contact Cathy about: Eco-Schools queries,  Green Flag application and the Wheelie Big Challenge.

Cathy has been working with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on and off since 2014 on several projects and was appointed Eco-Schools Officer in July 2016. She has a scientific background including a PhD in Molecular Ecology and a PGCE in Biology. She enjoys making cakes for the office, crocheting and finding new hobbies.