Dr Mary Kelly, director general of the Environmental Protection Agency, will leave the agency at the end of the summer to take up her new appointment as chair of An Bord Pleanala. Dr Kelly has been director general of the EPA since 2002 and has led the EPA effectively through profound change in that time. The EPA is now widely acknowledged as an exemplar of public sector effectiveness, and seen as the champion and independent voice for the environment in Ireland.
Dr Kelly led the EPA through two internal Strategic Reviews. The first Strategic Review in 2003 led to major reorganisation and the creation of a new office within the EPA, the Office of Environmental Enforcement. This proved to be a vital and successful step in tackling the many compliance issues from illegal dumping to contaminated drinking water.
The second Strategic Review in 2007 resulted in further reorganisation to bring a greater focus to the Climate Change Agenda with the establishment of the Climate Change Unit, bringing together all EPA staff with climate change responsibilities including emissions trading, research and international negotiation work.
A recent independent review of the EPA endorsed the role and performance of the agency stating that the EPA, since its foundation, has provided considerable benefit for Ireland’s environment and for the health and well-being of its people.