NUI Galway Announces New Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Alma McCarthy as the next Head of School at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics
Feb 01 2021 Posted: 11:45 GMT

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Alma McCarthy as the next Head of School at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Professor McCarthy has commenced the role as of January 2021.

Professor Geraint Howells, Executive Dean for the College of Business Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, said: "Having recently commenced my role at NUI Galway I have been impressed to learn about the wonderful transformation, which J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics has undergone in recent years. I am delighted to announce Professor McCarthy in the role of Head of School, and am confident that she will continue to lead tremendous innovation, transformation and distinctness in her new role. Professor McCarthy brings a wealth of experience to the role, and I look forward to working alongside her in the years to come."

Professor Alma McCarthy said: “I am honoured to take up the role of Head of School.  The School has grown substantially in recent years with over 2,700 students and 130 staff. The School’s success is recognised through the achievement of various international accreditations and awards. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on the successes of our School and developing and leading the strategic plan for the next stage of the School’s development, and engaging with key external stakeholders including alumni, industry and policy makers and ensuring the School’s research and teaching has regional and global impact.”

A native of Labasheeda, Co. Clare, Professor McCarthy was selected for her passion and dedication to education, her strong leadership experience, and her numerous distinctions and achievements. She joined the university in 2002 as a Lecturer and Researcher in the Discipline of Management and has previously served as the Head of the Management Discipline at NUI Galway, and as Programme Director for the MBA.

Professor McCarthy’s research interests include public sector leadership and human resource development among others, which has led to co-authored books, several chapters in edited books and many articles in highly ranked journals such as the Human Resource Management Journal, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, Public Administration Review, and Human Resource Management Review.

Professor McCarthy is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, the American Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology, and recently served as elected Vice-Chair and Chair of the Irish Academy of Management. She recently led a senior civil service leadership development evaluation project and report commissioned by the Department of Expenditure and Reform and is Principal Investigator for the Science Foundation Ireland funded talent management in national science foundations’ research project gathering data in Ireland, New Zealand, Finland, US, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Professor McCarthy, along with Dr Katerina Bohle-Carbonell at NUI Galway, and Tomás Ó Síocháin and Deirdre Frost at Western Development Commission, recently led significant research into the area of remote working in light of COVID-19, providing insights on how remote working has changed employees’ work and employment experiences. Her remote working research has been used in the Government’s National Remote Work Strategy recently published by An Tánaiste. More information on the Remote Working National Survey is available at

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics has introduced significant innovation in recent years, including the launch of the Bachelor of Commerce Global Experience, which offers work placement and study abroad opportunities for business students. The School has also expanded its postgraduate suite of programmes and increased its student body in recent years. For more information on J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics visit


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