Strategy, Innovation and Risk Appetite

21 September 2023



The direction of travel of public bodies and public benefit entities is framed by their statement of strategy or strategic plan, which will typically span a 3-5 year horizon. Strategies help to focus Board and senior team minds on priorities, necessary innovations and resource allocation and needs over the period. Strategies should be supported by implementation plans and meaningful performance metrics and reporting to help gauge progress and surface any issues arising. In addition, strategies should reflect the ambition and risk appetite of organisations.

Modern strategies are also being developed in the context of both an increasing pace of change, which requires a greater degree of transformation and indeed digitalisation, and a greater potential for external events to arise and impact. We have experienced that in recent years, through for example, the covid pandemic, the energy crisis, inflation pressures and the war in Ukraine. In this context, innovation, risk appetite, agility and adaptability are important characteristics of effective organisations.

With the help of three highly experienced practitioners, this event will explore this topic and consider areas such as:

Our guest speakers will include:

Please note the slight change to the speaker line-up.


Marianne Cassidy

Marianne is Assistant Secretary General, heading up the Public Service Transformation Division in the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform. She has responsibility for leading and supporting Public Service Transformation including driving the implementation of the 10-year Strategy CSR 2030 and shaping the successor to OPS2020. She is also responsible for the Department’s Communications Unit and the Central Vote, the Department-of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Vote and the DPENDPDR Corporate Bodies Unit. 

Prior to joining DPENDPDR in March 2022, Marianne was the Head of Civil Reform for the Modernisation Programme of the Courts Service which aims at providing quicker and easier access to justice for all.  Before heading up Civil Reform, Marianne was Eastern Regional Manager for four and a half years with responsibility for the operational, legal and financial governance of seven County Circuit and District combined Court offices. Marianne also made a noteworthy contribution in driving change as the Senior Responsible Owner for Courts Office Review Implementation (CORI) reform programme. 

Before joining the Courts Service in 2016, Marianne held strategic and leadership positions in a range of public sector organisations including, as the first Head of Investigations for the Ombudsman for Children's Office and as the Public Transport Regulation Manager for the National Transport Authority. 

Marianne holds a Masters in Public Administration from Science Po Paris, a Masters in Social Policy from UCD, and a Professional Certificate in Governance from the IPA.

David Burke

David is Chief Operations Officer at Pobal, having been appointed to the role in 2020. Before this he was Director with responsibility for Early Years Operations. Prior to Pobal, David held the position of Director of Research, Development and Communications at Focus Ireland.

Between 2008 and 2017, David was a non-executive Director at Cluid Housing Association, and held the position of Board Chairperson between 2011 and 2016.

Jim Deery

Jim is Head of Corporate Strategy and Continuous Improvement with the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA). He has 20 years’ experience in the areas of strategy, governance, and corporate development within the public sector.

Prior to joining the NTMA he served in the Defence Forces holding appointments both in Ireland and abroad, including as Financial Analyst with the Defence Forces’ Strategic Planning Office.

He holds an MBA from University College Dublin and an MA from the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies, Maynooth University. He is currently undertaking a PhD in Maynooth University researching Ireland and British strategy during the Napoleonic Wars, 1808-15.