Misean Cara is guided by a Board of Directors who assist with oversight in matters of governance, organisational and operational issues, policy development, strategy and other areas. Our 10 Board members draw on vast experience in overseas development and humanitarian projects, as well expertise in other areas including marketing, fundraising, financial services, education, healthcare and more. Board members are elected at our AGM and serve for a three-year term. Meet our exceptional team of advisors below.
Appointed to the Board in 2019, Chairperson Kevin Carroll has worked in international development for over 30 years, including with the Irish Aid programme, Trócaire and Concern. During his career he has served overseas in five countries, four in Africa and one in Asia. He has lectured part-time in development studies at University College Dublin. He retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2014 and subsequently worked as a Missionary Development Officer with Saint Patrick’s Missionary Society until early 2019. Kevin is also chair of the Financial Oversight, Risk & Audit Committee.
Sr. Josephine McCarthy
Sr. Josephine McCarthy, a Presentation Sister who has spent over 20 years in Ecuador and Peru, was co-opted to the Board in September 2018 and currently serves as Vice-Chair. She is a coordinator of the Presentation Global Education Experience project, linking teachers and students from Ireland with communities in India and Zambia. She is a Director of the Cork Alliance Centre, providing support for young people on release from prison, and co-ordinates a drop-in centre for immigrants in Cork city.
Dr Pauline Faughnan
Dr. Pauline Faughnan has published research on a wide range of social policy and equality fields including disability, refugees and asylum seekers, community development and girls’ education. Her work in University College Dublin has involved establishing a Programme of Applied Research in the Social Science Research Centre and research development within the School of Social Justice where she co-ordinated the university-wide Egalitarian World Initiative. Pauline was elected to the Board of Misean Cara in 2017.
Co-opted to the Board in November 2020, Charlie Lamson has over 20 years of experience as a not-for-profit leader and fundraising professional in the US and Ireland, most recently as CEO of Sightsavers Ireland. Charlie has also served as Director of Development at Dublin City University Educational Trust, Head of Development for Front Line Defenders, and Corporate Campaigns Manager for Children’s Hospital Boston, and has served as a Board member of Dóchas. His experience in international development includes a posting with the United States Peace Corps in Bulgaria from 1993-1995.
Marie Mulvey, who was co-opted to the Board in November 2020, has worked for more than 20 years in strategic human resources with extensive experience in the financial services, technology, clinical research, utilities and retail & property industries. She brings expertise in employee engagement and relations, performance management, project management, organisational change and development, and employment law.
Sr. Franca Onyibor
Sr. Franca Onyibor is a Missionary Sister of the Holy Rosary, with over 20 years of mission experience in Zambia and Nigeria. While serving in Zambia, she pioneered the ‘Education for Social Transformation Program’, which combines the teaching of science with ‘Training for Transformation’ programmes for students and teachers. With a background in counselling, spirituality and non-violent communication, Sr. Franca introduced a ‘Non-Violent Communication for Social Change’ programme in Nigeria, establishing support systems for dialogue and peace building in partnership with national and international teams. She also pioneered ‘Drinking from a Common Well’ a project to promote inter-religious dialogue in communities with both Christian and Muslim populations. Sr. Franca has also worked on the rights of children in the inner-city area of Chicago, and also with international teams tackling child labour. With a background in the An Tairseach programme at the Dominican Centre in Wicklow, Sr. Franca is passionate about ecological and environmental issues, and works to create environmental awareness in Nigeria and beyond. She joined the Misean Cara Board in June 2021.
Fr. Seamus O'Neill
Fr. Seamus O’Neill joined the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan in 1967 and was ordained as a priest in 1974. He has worked extensively as a missionary in Turkana, Kenya first in the 1970s and again in the 1990s, later serving as the Chancellor of Lodwar Diocese in Kenya until 2002. Fr. Seamus undertook post-graduate studies in philosophy at Fordham University, New York in 1977, and later taught philosophy and directed the congregation’s Student Formation Programme in Ireland. In 2002, he was appointed the Congregational Leader of St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, continuing in that role until 2014, and currently serves as the congregation’s Bursar General. Fr. Seamus joined the Misean Cara Board in June 2021 and is also the Chairperson of Misean Cara’s Financial Oversight, Risk & Audit Committee (FORAC).
Since 2007, Sandra Neville has worked primarily in the area of safeguarding, serving in a Diocesan setting and more recently with various religious congregations and societies. She was also the Safeguarding Advisor for Misean Cara from 2016 to 2018. Sandra’s work in safeguarding has taken her throughout the Global South as a consultant with many faith-based organisations and NGOs. She has also completed training in CHS (Core Humanitarian Standards) investigation and has undertaken investigations in Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Sandra's background is in nursing and midwifery and in this capacity has worked in Zimbabwe, DRC, Rwanda, Lesotho and South Africa, both in development and emergency projects. Sandra joined the Misean Cara Board in June 2021.
Patrick McMahon joined the Board in 2021, bringing with him decades of experience in the legal profession, including six years serving as a District Court Judge in Dublin and Meath. He qualified as a solicitor after studying law at UCD, and later studied US and European law in the Netherlands. Over the years, Patrick has served on several Boards, including a tenure as Chair of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and of Booterstown National Girls’ School. In addition to Misean Cara, Patrick is also currently a member of the Board of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and is a lecturer in the Law Society.
Dr. Lance O'Brien
Dr. Lance O’Brien brings to the Board significant expertise in the agricultural management sector, gained in part during a 40-year career at Teagasc (The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority), where he specialised in corporate and strategic planning, programme planning, foresight development and research management. He began his career there managing Irish Aid-funded projects in Lesotho, Sudan and Tanzania, and during his final decade with Teagasc he managed international development activities including policy and strategy for supporting agricultural development and food security in Africa. He also led the formation of the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) and was its first Chair.
Now retired, Lance's other volunteer roles include Board positions with Threshold, Clúid Housing, and Vita. He also continues on contract with Teagasc, managing a large EU-funded agricultural development project in Eritrea. Lance joined the Misean Cara Board in February 2022.