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The former chief executive of the Marine Institute has been appointed as the new chair of the council of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS).

Dr Peter Heffernan served as the Marine Institute’s CEO for 27 years, retiring from the post in October 2019, and his new role is with the world’s second — and Ireland’s only — institute for advanced studies.

DIAS leads Ireland’s participation in a number of international research endeavours that focus on the big, unanswered questions for mankind.

Dr Heffernan previously played a fundamental part in developing Ireland’s ocean research capacity, which included overseeing the arrival of Ireland’s two purpose-built marine research vessels: the RV Celtic Voyager in 1997 and the RV Celtic Explorer in 2003.

He also instigated the development of the Inter-Department Marine Coordination Group in 2009, which led to Ireland’s first integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth.

Dr Heffernan acted as an inspiration and Irish EU Presidency Ambassador for the creation of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance (AORA) with the signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Co-operation between Canada, the European Union and the United States of America.

And he is Ireland’s only representative on the European Union’s Mission Board for Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.

Published in Marine Science
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