Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell today announced the appointment of Ellvena Graham as the new chair of the Northern Ireland Economic Advisory Group (EAG).

Ellvena Graham succeeds Dame Kate Barker, DBE and will take up the role immediately. The appointment will last for three years.

Minister Bell said, “Ellvena Graham brings a depth of knowledge and experience at a senior level in both finance and economic development, which will serve her well in her leadership of the Economic Advisory Group. I wish Ellvena well in the role and look forward to continued engagement with the EAG under her chairmanship.

“I also want to put on record my sincere thanks to Dame Kate Barker for her hard work and contribution as Chair of EAG over the last five years.”

Ms. Graham said, “I am delighted with this appointment and look forward to working with EAG colleagues to support the Minister by providing independent expert guidance on key areas that underpin the development of Northern Ireland’s economy, bringing benefits to all.”

Ms. Graham is Senior Independent Non-Executive Director of ESB, Ireland’s largest state-owned utility and is also a member of the Board of NI Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She spent over 30 years with Ulster Bank, most recently as Managing Director of SME Banking for the Ulster Bank Group as a whole, and as head of Ulster Bank NI, where she represented the bank with all key stakeholders, including government, industry bodies and consumer groups. Ms. Graham resigned to pursue other business interests in May 2015.