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Northern Ireland Assembly Commission Nominates New Assembly Commissioner for Standards

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 02 September 2020

Reference: AC01/20/21

New Commissioner for Standards Dr Melissa McCulloughThe Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (the Assembly Commission) has nominated Dr Melissa McCullough for appointment as the new Assembly Commissioner for Standards.

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Chair of the Assembly Commission, Alex Maskey, MLA, said, “I am pleased to confirm that the Assembly Commission has identified Dr McCullough for appointment as the new Assembly Commissioner for Standards.

“The independent role of the Commissioner for Standards is central to ensuring that MLAs uphold the highest standards of conduct in public life. Over the past 15 years, Dr McCullough has worked as an academic in law, ethics and professionalism in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This breadth of experience will leave her well equipped to perform this vital role.”

The Assembly Commission has today asked the Business Committee to schedule the motion for debate at the Assembly sitting on Monday, 7 September 2020, when MLAs will be given the opportunity to agree Dr McCullough’s formal appointment.  



Notes to Editor:

  1. The Assembly Commission agreed that it would be appropriate to make the appointment from the recruitment competition conducted in 2017. 
  2. The appointment for Commissioner, once it is approved by the Assembly, will be effective immediately.  
  3. Pen portrait of Dr Melissa McCullough

Dr McCullough moved to Northern Ireland from the United States in 1994 and completed her PhD in Biomedical Sciences as well as an LLB, MSc Bioethics and mediation certification.

Since 2005, Dr McCullough has worked an academic in law, ethics and professionalism in the United Kingdom and Ireland. She served as a ministerial appointed Non-Executive Director for the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland from 2009-2020 and as a member of the Governance, Reference and Remuneration sub-committees.

Dr McCullough is currently a visiting academic at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, an assessor and chair for undergraduate medical programs for the Medical Council Ireland and also acts as a law and ethics specialist on the Clinical Governance Board at Synergix Health, London.

Dr McCullough’s published work and research interests include professionalism, organisational ethics, applied ethics, equality and justice in policy and practice, diversity and inclusion, and public health ethics.

Dr McCullough is married with three grown up children.


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