The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is managed by a full-time Executive Board consisting of a Director General and five Directors. Our activities are organised into five Offices, with each Office reporting to a Director.
Our Directors and staff adhere to a code of business conduct in undertaking their duties. An Advisory Committee, chaired by the Director General, meets several times a year to raise issues of concern and offer advice to the Board.
Laura Burke is the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), appointed in 2011 and served as a Director within the EPA since 2004. As Director General she has the responsibility to lead and strategically manage the EPA. Laura is the Chair of the European Environment Agency (EEA) Management Board.
Prior to joining the EPA, she worked in the private sector. Laura is a graduate chemical engineer of University College Dublin (UCD), holds an MSc from Trinity College, Dublin, is a Fellow and is a Vice-President of Engineers Ireland and is a Chartered Director. In 2016 Laura was awarded the UCD Engineering Graduates Association (EGA) Distinguished Graduate Award.
Gerard O’Leary is the Director of the Office of Communications and Corporate Services and has served as a Director since 2012. Prior to his current role, he was the Director for the Office of Environmental Enforcement.
Gerard joined the EPA in 1994 and has also worked with Cork County Council, South Tipperary County Council and the National Roads Authority. He holds MSc. degrees in Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, MA degree in Public Management and post graduate diplomas in Business & Executive Coaching and Corporate Governance from the UCD Smurfit Business School.
Read about the Office of Communications and Corporate Services
Micheál Lehane was appointed Director with the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 and is currently the Director for the EPA’s Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring.
Prior to being appointed Director he served as a Programme Manager with the EPA in various leadership roles and in environmental protection & regulation in the UK. Micheál is also the vice-Chair of the Irish National Accreditation Board.
Micheál is a graduate of University College Cork with a PhD in Geology, holds an MBA from the University of Limerick and is a Chartered Director.
Read about the Office of Radiation Protection and Environmental Monitoring
Eimear Cotter was appointed in 2017 as Director of the EPA initially with responsibility for the Office of Environmental Sustainability. She is currently Director of the Office of Evidence and Assessment.
Eimear has a wide range of experience in environmental protection, climate change, sustainable energy and sustainability. She previously worked in the EPA and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Eimear holds a BA (Mod) in chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, a PhD in atmospheric chemistry from Oxford University and an MBA from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is a 2019 Eisenhower Fellow and a Board member on the National Statistics Board.
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Tom Ryan was appointed in August 2018 as a Director of the EPA with responsibility for the Office of Environmental Enforcement. Prior to being appointed Director Tom served as a Programme Manager with the EPA, as Director of Radiation Protection Regulation with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) and also worked with the European Commission based in Luxembourg. Tom holds a BSc and PhD in experimental physics from UCD, an MSc in management practice from TCD, an LLM from the Sutherland School of Law, (UCD) and is a Chartered Director.
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Sharon Finegan was appointed in April 2021 as a Director of the EPA with responsibility for the Office of Environmental Sustainability. Having worked across central Government, Sharon has a broad range of senior management experience and policy expertise particularly in the areas of environmental policy and climate change. Before joining the EPA, Sharon was the Head of the Climate Action Unit in the Department of the Taoiseach. Prior to this, she was Secretary to the Citizens’ Assembly from 2016-2018 and has held a number of roles including Head of Protocol and Head of Economic Policy in the Department of the Taoiseach. Sharon holds a BA from NUI, Galway and an MSc from Trinity College Dublin.
Read about the Office of Environmental Sustainability