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Stephanie O'Brien

Stephanie joined the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science in 2020, as Head of the Skills and Enterprise Engagement Unit.

The Unit’s work is driven by the National Skills Strategy, 2016-2025, and ensuring the effective running of the primary skills architectures in Ireland, the National Skills Council and nine Regional Skills Fora. Central in this work are efforts to reinforce the partnership approach to skills and human capital development policy-making and prioritisation, across Government and with all stakeholders, and efforts to bring overarching coherence across skills policies and approaches, including through collaboration with skills forecasting entities such as the Expert Group.

Stephanie joined the civil service in 2010, and spent over ten years as a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

She has served in a range of roles across Ireland’s foreign policy priorities at home and abroad, including as Head of Irish Aid & Deputy Head of Mission in Ireland’s Representative Office in Palestine, and as Head of Humanitarian Affairs & Development Partnerships in Ireland’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Stephanie has also previously worked with the United Nations in Yangon, where she led efforts on effective coordination of Government actors, donors and international financial institutions on development in Myanmar.

Stephanie holds degrees in Government studies from Oriel College, University of Oxford and Trinity College, University of Dublin.