Tom Arnold of Concern Appointed Chairperson of the Constitutional Convention


The Taoiseach and the Tanáiste today (24 October 2012) announced that the Government has appointed Mr. Tom Arnold (CEO of Concern Worldwide) as Chairperson of the Convention on the Constitution.

Welcoming the appointment, the Taoiseach said:

" I am delighted that Tom Arnold has agreed to accept the role of Chairperson of the Convention on the Constitution.

Tom's strong personal commitment to justice and to improving the lives of citizens around the world make him an ideal choice for this task.

As well as significant experience in public administration, he has an international reputation for his humanitarian work and he also brings a wealth of management experience as CEO of an organisation which spans the globe.

I welcome his acceptance of the Government's appointment and I offer him my best wishes as he takes on this important role in leading Ireland's first ever Constitutional Convention ".


The Tánaiste also welcomed the appointment. He said:

" I warmly welcome the appointment of Tom Arnold as Chairperson of the Constitutional Convention.

I wish him all the best in this important role and I know from personal experience the huge energy and commitment that he will bring to the position.

This year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bunreacht na hEireann, the Government has established a process to ensure that our Constitution is equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Along with the Chair, each member of the Convention has an important job to do on behalf of Irish society and I look forward to the outcome of their deliberations."

Mr. Arnold commented:

"It is a great honour for me to be appointed Chairperson of the Convention on the Constitution. I will do my best to ensure that every member of the Convention gets an opportunity to contribute to the work of the Convention. I am also looking forward to hearing the views of civil society on each of the issues we have been asked to consider. I am also very grateful for the support of the many academics, constitutional lawyers and political scientists who will play an important role in facilitating the success of the Convention over the next year. "

Note for Editors:
- biography of Tom Arnold
- Dail Eireann Resolution on the Convention, setting out its composition, the items it is to consider etc (a similar Resolution was passed by Seanad Eireann)
- remuneration

Biography of Tom Arnold
Tom Arnold has been CEO of Concern Worldwide since October 2001. Prior to that he worked with the Department of Agriculture and Food as Assistant Secretary General and Chief Economist, with ACOT, the farm advisory and training body, and with the European Commission.

Tom has had extensive experience in chairing and serving on governmental and non- governmental boards, in Ireland and internationally. He has chaired the OECD Committee for Agriculture and the European Food Security Group, a network of European NGOs dealing with international food security. He is currently a member of the Consortium Board for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Here in Ireland he has served on the Commission on Taxation and the Irish Hunger Task Force. At international level, he was a member of the first Board for the UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) and of the UN Millennium Project's Hunger Task Force. He is currently Chair of the Irish Times Trust and a Director of the Irish Times newspaper.

Tom has a degree in agricultural economics from UCD and Master's degrees from the Catholic University of Louvain and from Trinity College Dublin.

Dail Resolution on the Convention (attached below)

Mr Arnold will be paid for his work as Chair of the Convention. He will initially continue in his current position as CEO of Concern Worldwide but has indicated that he will step down from that position during 2013 as the work of the Convention grows. His precise remuneration will be agreed in due course, in that context.