Development And Alumni Relations Office

FOUNDATION BOARD MEMBERS

DR John A King

Chairman

John is a former Independent Director of Actavis, a global pharmaceutical company, and served in this role from 2013 to 2015 following its acquisition of Warner Chilcott. Prior to this he held the position of Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Warner Chilcott from June 2005.  From 2000 until January 2005 he served as Executive Chairman of Galen Holdings Ltd.  John graduated from Queen’s with a first-class honours degree in Pharmacy and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and was appointed to a Lectureship in the Department of Pharmacy.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Queen’s University in 2006. John has retained close ties with Queen's.

Tessa Breslin profile

Tessa Breslin

Tessa graduated from Queen’s with a First Class Honours degree in Psychology (1998) and a Master's degree in Occupational Psychology (1999). She is a member of the Board and the Global Leadership Team of YSC Consulting.  Based in New York, Tessa leads YSC’s North American business and has broad, international expertise in leadership strategy, executive assessment and coaching, and talent development. She is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, an ICF accredited coach, and has served on the Board of a Liberal Arts University in the USA for seven years. Originally from Derry, married, and with three young children, Tessa has maintained strong connections with Queen's and Northern Ireland through the QUB Alumni Association in the US and as an active supporter of Irish arts and culture. 

Georgina Copty Profile

Georgina Copty (Gina)

Georgina was born and raised in Jersusalem, which has had a strong influence on her academic and vocational pursuits. Having graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Philosophy from Gordon College, Massachusetts (1996), she went on to work for Human Rights Watch, Middle East Division, in Washington DC. She later obtained an MBA from University of Cape Town (2000), before settling in Belfast.

Since then, she has served as Honorary Secretary on the Interfaith Working Group, which is part of the Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue (2011-2021), and on the Executive for Irish Council of Churches (2020-present). Georgina obtained a Graduate Diploma in Theology from Union Theological College 2016-2017.  In 2018, she and her husband set up the Olive Tree Fund to administer a wide range of philanthropic activities, most notably funding a three-year training programme with Concern Worldwide for refugee women’s business initiatives in the Middle East. The couple have also set up the Copty scholarship at Queen’s University to benefit a Palestinian post-graduate student. She lives in Belfast with her husband, Chris, and four children.

John Fitzpatrick Profile

Dr John Fitzpatrick, OBE

John Fitzpatrick is the President and CEO of the Fitzpatrick Hotel Group, which operates two very successful hotels in New York City. A respected industry leader, John served several terms as Chairman of the Hotel Association of New York City, before serving as Chairman of the American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2014, an organisation that represents more than 52,000 member hotels.

In 1994, John founded the Eithne & Paddy Fitzpatrick Memorial Fund which has generated over $4.5 million to support worthy causes in honour of his late parents, including Barnardos, the Integrated Education Fund, Corrymeela, Barretstown, and the East Belfast Community Centre.

From 2014 to 2020, John served as Chairman of The Ireland Fund America, which has raised over $600 million for more than 1,800 outstanding organisations throughout the island of Ireland that support programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development. John currently remains on the Ireland Fund Executive Board, and is also on the Board of Directors of The Ireland-U.S. Council.

In 2008, John was recognised for his contributions to the peace process in Northern Ireland by being invested with an honorary OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, and in 2011, Queen’s University Belfast conferred upon John an honorary Doctorate of Science in Economics. 

Mr John O'Donoghue

John graduated from Queen's in 1981. He has had a thirty-five year career in financial services on Wall Street, primarily at three firms; Schroders 1983-2000 (Partner), Credit Suisse 2000-2005 (Global Equity Operating Committee) and Cowen 2005-2012 (Head of Global Equities). During his tenure at Cowen, he was instrumental in setting up an office in Belfast, working closely with the Invest NI team.  That office currently employs fifty people. A native of Newcastle, Co Down, John has maintained a very close connection with home and with his Alma Mater. He served as the first President of the Queen's Alumni Association in the USA, and since 2013 has been President of the Friends of The Queen's University of Belfast Inc. and is an active member of the Northern Ireland diaspora.

Stephen Prenter profile

MR Stephen Prenter, Mbe

Stephen graduated from Queen’s in Economics in 1975 and has spent a notable career as a Chartered Accountant and business adviser. After 14 years with KPMG, he established and became founding partner of BDO Northern Ireland in 1989 and lead that firm through a prolonged period of growth for 20 years, serving on the UK Executive Board of BDO International. He has been Chair of the Ulster Society Chartered Accountants, Chair of Investment Belfast, Chair of Grand Opera House Belfast and non-executive director at Haldane Shiells Group. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to Business, the Arts and Education. Stephen was appointed Honorary Treasurer at Queen’s 2006-2012, becoming Pro-Chancellor in 2012 and serving as Chair of Senate, the governing body, for five years from 2016 to 2020.

Sir Bruce Robinson Profile

Sir Bruce Robinson

Bruce graduated from Queens in 1972 with an Honours degree in Economics. He qualified as a chartered accountant and then worked in Tanzania, teaching as a VSO and on a major USAID funded development project. Back in Belfast he worked in economic development for 20 years including 5 years as Chief Executive of IDB. He held senior positions in several Civil Service Departments including the Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) and was head of the NI Civil Service. While in these roles he led a very major programme of civil service reform. He was knighted in 2011.

Since retiring Bruce has been appointed by the Irish Government as chair of one of its major civil service reform projects. He also serves on the Advisory Board of KPMG Northern Ireland.

Among his charitable interests Bruce is Chairman of the Lyric Theatre, a trustee of the Irish American Partnership and a trustee of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

DR Edward vernon, obe

Deputy chairman

Edward (Ed) graduated from Queen's in 1981 with a BSc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering and in 1982 with an MSc in Electronic Engineering, following which he worked in Queen’s Wolfson Unit. He co-founded B.I.C. Systems in 1984 which became a leading technology systems integration business and was acquired by BT plc in 2004.  Ed was appointed to the Board of Belfast Harbour in 2012.  He is a Strategic Advisor to BT Ireland, Chair of the Riddel Hall Founders’ Club at Queen’s and Chair of recruitment and technology businesses. Ed was awarded an OBE for services to economic development in 2012 and an Honorary Doctorate from Queen’s University in 2013 for services to business and commerce.

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