Dr Orlaigh Quinn was appointed Secretary General of the Department on 3 October 2016. Her role is to support Government and lead the Department and its offices and agencies in encouraging the creation of high quality and sustainable full employment; by championing enterprise, supporting and incentivising a competitive enterprise base, and promoting fair and competitive employment and markets.
Prior to her current appointment, Orlaigh was an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. As a member of the Management Board, she had wide-ranging responsibilities for the strategic, corporate and budgetary responsibilities of the Department. As Programme Director of the Reform and Delivery Office, she led on Public Sector reform, including Civil Service Renewal and government reform and supported a wide range of organisations in driving change.
As a career civil servant, she has worked in a number of public sector organisations, including the Department of Social Protection as HR Director and as Head of National Pensions policy and operations. She was also responsible for EU/International Affairs where she led the Department’s remit in the Irish Presidency of the European Union in 2013. In earlier employments, she worked for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, as an expert on employment and social policy, and has worked in a number of other Government Departments in Ireland, including the Central Statistics Office and the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
She is a former Visiting Research Fellow of Trinity College Dublin and holds a Masters in Public Management and a Doctorate in Governance from Queen’s University Belfast. She is the author of two books on public policy topics.