Sunday 25 February 2018

Goal announces temporary charity boss to replace Barry Andrews

Celine Fitzgerald
Celine Fitzgerald Newsdesk Newsdesk

The Board of international aid charity, GOAL, has this morning announced Celine Fitzgerald as its General Manager on a one-year fixed-term contract.

Ms Fitzgerald, who comes into the interim position having served at CEO and Board level across several multinational, state and charity bodies, will formally commence her new role on November 1.

Ex-Goal CEO Barry Andrews. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ex-Goal CEO Barry Andrews. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Ms Fitzgerald takes over after former CEO Barry Andrews stood down last week.

Mr Andrews' resignation followed a US-led investigation into the charity's multimillion-euro Syria operation.

The new general manager has been described as an expert in "change management". In a statement the charity said she will oversee a period of transition within the organisation over the next 12 months.

Ms Fitzgerald has previously worked in management roles in the private sector including working for Eircell, Vodafone and outsourcing business, Rigney Dolphin, where she acted as Chief Executive Officer from 2007 to 2012.

She is currently on the boards of both the VHI and Irish Water's parent company Ervia.

She was also a former director of Organisational Development at Trócaire, and a former Board member of Nurture Africa – a charity providing health services in Uganda.

As a result of the aid investigation carried out by the US Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Foreign Affairs withheld €10.1m funding from Goal pending the results of the inquiry.

Goal is also implementing an action plan, which is based on a consultant's report, which was commissioned in response to the ongoing investigation by the Office of the Inspector General of USAID (OIG) into alleged supply chain irregularities relating to US-sponsored humanitarian aid programmes in Syria.

This BDO report shows that, despite the organisation's best intentions, its processes and controls were not adequately equipped to handle the growth and scale of challenges it had set itself.

Ms Fitzgerald’s duties will include the implementation of an action plan.

Commenting on Ms Fitzgerald’s appointment, Chairperson of GOAL, Anne O’Leary, said: “I am delighted that someone of Celine’s experience is joining the organisation at this important juncture. Given the changes and additions we are making at management level within the organisation in the coming weeks, it is important that we appoint someone with experience and competence in the field of change management to oversee this period.

“The next 12 months will be a critical period for GOAL as we seek to regain and consolidate the trust of our donors and the general public, while continuing with the implementation of our aid programmes across the world.”

Ms Fitzgerald said: “Along with many Irish people, I have admired the work of GOAL from afar for many years and I am acutely aware of the great work that the organisation does with millions of vulnerable people across the world. As an Irish person, I am also deeply conscious how the organisation, and the people who work for it, have significantly aided the reputation of Ireland abroad.

“Much of my work, in several of my previous roles, has focussed on getting things right at governance level, managing large systems and ensuring that organisational structures are robust – all with the aim of allowing staff at all levels to do their jobs without any unnecessary distractions. It is critical that we sort out the issues facing GOAL during my one year tenure, and ensure that the people on the front line, whether in head office or in the field, can get back to doing what they do best.”

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