Development & Alumni Relations Office 


15 February 2017

A Queen’s University graduate now working at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland is the running for a top award in the USA. Alice Charles is one of 40 people shortlisted for the 2017 Irish Echo ‘40 Under 40’ People’s Choice Award, polling for which closes in a few weeks.    

Born in Florencecourt, County Fermanagh, Ms Charles attended Mount Lourdes Grammar School in Enniskillen before coming up to Queen’s where she studied for a BSc Environmental Planning (graduating in 2000), followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Town and Country Planning (2001).

Speaking to the Development and Alumni Relations Office this week Ms Charles said: “I loved my time in Queen’s. I recall the freedom of living away from home, meeting lots of people from all over the world, the early morning lectures in the David Keir Building, the critiques in the Architecture studio and the nights out after meeting another deadline.

“I received a great education and made friends and memories for life at Queen’s.”

And of her nomination for the Irish Echo award she added: “It is an absolute honour to be nominated for such an award and have my work recognized. I am very grateful for the nomination and for all the votes I have received to date. I hope that you will consider voting for my before 24 February!”

Alice Charles’ WEF role includes managing the Forum's Future of Urban Development and Services Initiative, its Steering and Advisory Board, the past Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities and current Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization, the production of all city and urban development related content and urban development events at World Economic Forum Summits (including Davos).

She has fifteen years’ experience working in the areas of urban development, town planning, real estate, infrastructure, environment, climate change and public policy globally. She previously worked for the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Ireland, Dáil Eireann, Jacobs Engineering (formerly SKM Colin Buchanan) and Bilfinger GVA in London.

Ms Charles was appointed as an External Board Member of Ireland's National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) Planning Advisory Committee by the Minister for Finance in 2010 and reappointed by the current Minister for Finance in 2012, 2014 and 2016. My role is to provide strategic advice and recommendations to the Board on planning, land and related matters that may exert an influence on the valuation and realisation of development potential in respect of NAMA assets.

In addition to her Queen’s qualifications she has an MBA from University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and is currently undertaking a Masters in Global Leadership through the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Cornell Tech, INSEAD, London Business School and the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS).

From a farming background, her brother Terence, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is well-known in Fermanagh for campaigning for disabled rights and fundraising for disabled charities.

Her husband Michael works for the United Nations, which was the original reason the couple moved overseas.  

Ms Charles was a member of the WWF Earth Hour City Challenge Jury, an international high-level jury that assessed entries from cities from 21 participating countries in a year-long competition aimed at promoting renewable energy and preparation for climate change.  

The 10th annual Irish Top ‘40 Under 40’ Awards will take place on Friday 24 February in The Manhattan Club at Rosie O’Grady’s, NYC. A celebration of Irish and Irish Americans who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields of work before reaching the age of forty, the Top ‘40 Under 40’ Awards spotlight up-and-coming leaders of Irish America from the USA and around the world who work in a variety of fields and occupations.

Click here to vote for Alice Charles


Inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Queen’s Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.


Back to Main News









Top of Page