Skip to main content

Structure and governance

The VSO Ireland team is small, but our aims are big. From our office in Dublin we:

  • place experienced Irish volunteers in some of the world’s most marginalised communities,
  • create and run sustainable development programmes,
  • advocate for the rights of disadvantaged people, and
  • raise vital funds for VSO’s work around the globe

If you want to find out more about VSO and what we do, we’d love to hear from you.

Meet the Team

James O'Brien, Country Representative 

Phone: +353 01 640 1074

James is the public face of VSO in Ireland, and manages our partnership with Irish Aid. He also works as VSO's Volunteering for Development Leadership Advisor, leading on the creation of best practice standards in volunteering for development. He has served as Chair of the Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group and Coordinator of the Volunteer Groups Alliance. James volunteered on a VSO early childhood education project in Rwanda and Uganda in 2016. 

Paul Cahill, Financial Controller 

Phone: +353 01 640 1078

Paul manages theFinancial, Governance and  General Operations of the VSO Ireland office. He is part of VSO's financial and internal audit groups, participating in compliance initiatives and internal audit assignments. He is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland and holds an MSc. in International Business from TCD, as well as a wealth of experience having held senior financial and general management roles in many business sectors in the past.  

Rebecca Grogan

Rebecca Grogan, Programme Development and Grant Manager 

Phone: +353 01 640 1080 

Rebecca works with country offices to develop funding proposals for VSO’s important work and to support them to manage grants. Her primary focus on grants from Irish Aid, but she also works with Irish and International Foundations, such as ElectricAid, to develop support for VSO’s interventions. She has previously worked in Sierra Leone and South Sudan. 

Hester Jackman

Hester Jackman, Volunteer Relationship Manager 

Phone: +353 01 640 1072

Hester supports volunteers throughout the volunteer journey from the application stage, bringing candidates through the volunteer selection process and guiding them in their departure preparations. She also supports volunteers with their resettlement in Ireland once they return from placement. Hester also spent a year on placement with VSO in Rwanda, returning in 2008. She has been working in the voluntary sector for the last nine years.  

Annette O'Sullivan

Annette O’Sullivan, Marketing and Communications Manager 

Phone: +353 01 640 1073 

Annette takes care of VSO Ireland’s marketing and communications functions – organising events, handling media enquiries, managing our website and social media channels, advertising volunteer roles and creating marketing materials. Before joining the VSO Ireland team, Annette worked in PR and digital marketing, and completed a Masters in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. 

Tiernan Reilly

Tiernan Reilly, Fundraising Manager 

Phone: +353 01 640 1076

Tiernan is responsible for the formulation and implementation of VSO Irelands public fundraising strategy. This includes the recruitment and stewardship of VSO Ireland’s monthly donors, urgent public fundraising appeals supporting VSO’s international development programmes and legacy giving. He also leads on VSO Irelands Private Sector Engagement. Tiernan has a degree in History and Politics from UCD and has worked in a number of fundraising positions in the NGO sector. 

Elizabeth Gordy

Elizabeth Gordy, Administration Assistant 

Phone: +01 640 1071

Liz supports all the departments of VSO Ireland. She mainly works with volunteers, responding to volunteer enquiries and helping volunteers through the selection and placement departure process. Liz has a degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. She has years of cross-cultural experience from working in Panama, United States, South Korea and Ireland. 

VSO Ireland Board

VSO Ireland is part of the global VSO family, which operates through a series of international fundraising and recruitment hubs, and a network of programme offices in developing countries. The VSO Ireland Board governs our work. It ensures we fulfil our constitution and values, and safeguard resources. It has the following members: 

Stephen Pidgeon (Chair)

Stephen is a member of VSO’s International Board of Trustees. He is also a fellow and a former trustee of the Institute of Fundraising in the UK.  

He was chairman and founder of marketing agency Tangible Response, previously Target Direct, and is the co-founder of a world-wide training consultancy, teaching certificate and diploma courses to fundraisers in UK and across Europe.  

He is a visiting Professor of Direct Response Fundraising at Plymouth University, a regular speaker at international fundraising conferences, and writes regularly for the sector press in UK and abroad. 

Dr Tom Collins

Tom is a retired actuary who began his career in Irish Life in 1968 after graduating in Mathematical Science from UCD. While in Irish Life he qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and also completed a Ph.D. in Statistics with TCD.  

He moved to Bank of Ireland Life in 1988 and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Directors. He held the positions of Chief Actuary, Company Secretary and Operations Director.  

On retirement in 2006 he completed a Masters in International Relations in DCU and then worked in Africa as a VSO volunteer where he was Institutional Development Advisor to a local council in Cameroon and was Financial Management Advisor to three local councils in Zambia.

Christine Littlefield

Christine has worked in the charity sector since 2004 in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  

Christine worked with Depaul, a homeless charity, for 10 years, working both in Depaul’s homeless services and then as Director of Fundraising and Communications.  

Christine left Depaul in 2016 to study for a PhD. Christine has also been a Board member with IPRT since 2009.