Governance Forum Programme 2024

Events 2020

Culture & Good Governance [ONLINE]

08 October 2020


Institute of Public Administration, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4

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When assessing good governance, in addition to governance structures and arrangements, culture has become an area requiring greater attention.

Forum members will be aware that organisational culture is gaining more prominence with, for example, explicit reference in the UK Corporate Governance Code (2018), the Irish Banking Culture Board, and professional guidance, such as that produced by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).

The Board’s role in culture is also signalled in the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies and several sectoral codes. This is unsurprising insofar as many governance successes and indeed failures are associated with the behaviours and examples of those in key positions of power and authority, albeit culture and its positive or negative impact is of relevance to everyone working with and for the organisation.

Addressing culture in an explicit way can be difficult, and state and public bodies and public benefit entities are increasingly  grappling with how best to put culture on the Board, Committees' and Senior Team agendas. What does it mean? How can we test for it? Where do we start? What evidence do we have?

The purpose of this highly relevant Forum event is to try to reflect and address some of the answers to these questions, with the help of experienced speakers who will share their own insights on this important topic. The event will consider questions such as:

Details of our experienced speakers are below. 


Sir Jon Thompson

Sir Jonathan Thompson is CEO of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the UK, having been appointed to the position in 2019. Prior to joining the FRC, Jon was the CEO of HMRC, the UK Tax Authority, collecting more than £625 billion, employing more than 65,000 people and driving reform of the UK tax system.

Before HMRC, Jon was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, jointly leading the £36bn organisation with the Chief of the Defence Staff.  Jon has had a lengthy finance career including as Director General, Finance at the Ministry of Defence, Director General, Corporate Services at the Department for Education and Finance Director of Ofsted.

Before joining the Civil Service in 2004 Jon held a number of corporate services and finance roles in the public and corporate sectors.

Laura Burke

Laura Burke is the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), having been appointed in 2011 and previously serving as a Director within the EPA since 2004.  Laura is the Chair of the European Environment Agency (EEA) Management Board. 

Prior to joining the EPA, she worked in the private sector.  Laura is a graduate chemical engineer of University College Dublin (UCD), holds an MSc from Trinity College, Dublin, is a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering and Engineers Ireland and is a Chartered Director.  In 2016 Laura was awarded the UCD Engineering Graduates Association (EGA) Distinguished Graduate Award.

Liz Joyce

Liz Joyce is Director of Human Resources with the Central Bank of Ireland, which has seen significant change during the post-crisis period, not least in governance, leadership and culture as well as the HR operating model. Liz has worked as a change agent and leader in several organisations throughout her career encompassing the private sector, voluntary sector and more recently the public sector. She holds a BA in Psychology (NUIG) and an MBS in Human Resources Strategies (DCU) as well as diplomas in business and finance and coaching. Liz is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Chartered Director (IOD).