John Concannon, Marketer of the Year 2011 winner for his work in promoting Fáilte Ireland’s staycations, has been appointed to a new role as vice-president development at NUI Galway. Concannon is currently assistant secretary general in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the role of director general of Global Ireland.
Global Ireland is a Government initiative aimed at doubling Ireland’s international footprint by 2025, including the campaign for Ireland to win a seat on the UN Security Council. A graduate of NUI Galway, he worked for Dubarry Shoes and spent nine years in various marketing roles at Unilever, including the roll out of Magnum ice cream.
In 2004, he returned to Galway as CEO of Ireland West Tourism. He led the merger of the Regional Tourism Authorities in 2006 as Fáilte Ireland’s director of regional development. He took up the role of director of market development with the National Tourism Development Authority. In 2014, he became programme director of Ireland 2016 Centenary.
The programme was the largest cultural initiative undertaken in the history of the State. He later led the development of Creative Ireland aimed at mainstreaming culture and creativity across public life. He was later appointed as director of strategic communications in the Department of the Taoiseach, which proved short-lived due to party political feuds.
He has served as chairman of the Cope Galway charity for homelessness, domestic violence and elderly support for eight years, chaired Gaisce, the President’s award for six years. He is a former chairman of the Galway Age Friendly Initiative, a co-creator of Ashoka Ireland’s ChangeNation and was a director of ChangeX.org social enterprise.
He is currently on the board of Connacht Rugby.
NUI Galway was launched in the city in 1845. Over 18,000 students study at the university with 2,600 staff. The university is placed in the Top 250 of both the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2016/2017 and the QS World University Rankings 2016/17. Business Insider ranked it as one of Europe’s most beautiful universities.