Our Team

Public Service Transformation Delivery unit



Philip McGrath
Head of Public Service Transformation Delivery



Philip leads the Public Service Transformation Delivery unit at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER). The unit is responsible for driving and delivering the Government’s programme of public service transformation and innovation, and civil service renewal. This includes implementing the Government’s current reform framework Our Public Service, implementing the Government’s Public Service Innovation Strategy, Making Innovation Real, coordinating Ireland’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan, outsourcing and emerging technology policy, and a number of other related policy areas concerned with the modernisation of the Irish Public and Civil Service.

Before taking on his current role, Philip was the Department’s Public Service Innovation Policy Lead. Prior to joining DPER in 2014, Philip worked in the Department of Justice in the areas of asylum law and money laundering/terrorist financing regulation.

Philip holds separate degrees in law and business (HR), an international diploma in regulation and a Master’s degree in innovation and leadership.


Public Service Innovation



Colin Flaherty
Public Service Innovation Projects Lead



Colin has overall responsibility for the development and oversight of the Public Service Innovation Fund and strengthening the connections with the Public Service Innovation Network. Colin manages the legal and administrative requirements surrounding the Fund and oversees certain initiatives outlined in the public service innovation strategy, Making Innovation Real. Colin also provides strategic leadership on the annual public service Innovation Week and associated events while identifying new and emerging innovation initiatives.

Colin joined the OPS team from the Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board where he served as Further Education Manager. Prior to this, he was Project Manager at SOLAS.

Colin is a graduate of National University of Ireland and the National College of Ireland with a background in Organisational Leadership and Education.


Chris Kiernan
Public Service Innovation Fund and Strategy Manager



Chris is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Public Service Innovation Fund. He liaises with relevant stakeholders throughout the fund’s lifecycle to provide on-going support to participants. He also ensures full compliance with all governance measures and coordinates fund related events

Chris is currently on secondment from the Defence Forces, where he has served since 2003. He has partaken in three overseas deployments to the UNIFIL Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon and his background is established in operations, logistics, financial and project management.

Chris has completed a B.Sc in Logistics & Supply Chain Management (TU Dublin) and an M.Sc in Business Analytics from Smurfit Graduate Business School (UCD).


Jade O’Toole
Public Service Innovation Initiatives Manager



Jade is responsible for managing the Innovation Network and Project Managers Network. She collaborates with colleagues across the public service to support them to develop an innovative mind-set and culture, and connects public service colleagues to share insights and learn from each other. Jade also oversees DPER’s Future Tech Challenge competition.

Jade joined the team from the Residential Tenancies Board, having worked in communications and strategic projects. She has an undergraduate degree in community development and a masters degree in marketing and management. Jade is currently undertaking a PgDip in Innovation Management in NUIG.


HR and Learning & Initiatives



Fiona O’Callaghan
Public Service Human Capital Lead



Within the Public Service Reform unit, Fiona has overall responsibility for the human capital aspects of the current public service reform programme.

Under the ‘people and development’ pillar of the reform programme, her priorities include: supporting the mainstreaming of strategic workforce planning, promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and encouraging and supporting personal and professional learning and development across the public service.

Fiona joined the team in 2018 with over 20 years as a HR professional in the private sector. She is a member of CIPD and holds an MSc in Business Administration from Trinity College Dublin.


Ailís Henry
Public Service HR and L&D Initiatives Manager



Ailís is responsible for driving and supporting reform initiatives, in particular those with a people and organisation dimension. This includes the mainstreaming of workforce planning, the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion across the public service and developing and supporting the availability of appropriate learning and development interventions to support broader reform initiatives.

Ailís joined the OPS team from The Pensions Authority where she worked in HR, as PA to the Pensions Regulator and most recently in Pension Policy.

Ailís graduated with a B.A. (International) in Media Studies and Spanish from Maynooth University and a M.A. in Human Resource Management from National College of Ireland.


Central Programme Management Office

Quality Customer Service Network: qcsofficersnetwork@per.gov.ie 
Public Service Management Group: psmg@per.gov.ie


Nora O’Donnell
Customer Services Initiatives Manager



Nora joined the Innovation Team in October 2021 on secondment from the Department of Social Protection. With a background in economics, Nora brings a broad range of experience in customer service delivery and operations across the civil and public service. Focused on innovation and collaboration, Nora’s work involves developing, delivering and promoting a wide variety of customer service initiatives in consultation with experts from across the public service, including the Quality Customer Service Network.


Emerging Technologies



John O’Donoghue

Public Service Emerging Technology Manager



John supports the development of experimentation technology and policy. His most significant contribution thus far has been to co-author the RPA framework. His other work involved investigating and occasionally presenting on emerging technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence. His experience in AI and RPA has been called upon to review and contribute to several civil service publications. Prior to joining the civil service in 2016, John worked in IT for 20 years and operated a mental health organisation for 10 years.

John graduated with a B.Sc in Information Technologies from Trinity College Dublin and a B.Sc in Psychology from the Open University. He is currently undertaking a M.Sc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Limerick.


Civil Service Renewal