Bio Peter Heffernan

Peter Heffernan


Former Chief Executive of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s national agency for marine research and development, which he led from November 1993 to October 2019. He has spearheaded the organisation’s expansion from a staff of 1 to over 200 with a budget over €62 million. He has overseen the delivery of two custom built multi-purpose research vessels, the Celtic Voyager and the Celtic Explorer and the design and construction of the Marine Institute’s world class headquarters at Rinville, Oranmore, County Galway and the major modernisation of its research facility in Newport County Mayo. Following his PhD in the National University of Ireland, Galway, worked at the University of Georgia, in the U.S. (1985 – 92). Was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) in November 2006 and received the NUI Galway Alumni Foundation Award for Natural Sciences in 2008.

Peter was appointed in 2019 as a member of the EU Horizon Europe Mission Board for Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal & Inland Waters, and is on the Strategic Advisory Board, Field Earth & Environment, Helmholtz Association, Germany. Peter is also a Special Advisor of Board of Directors, Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal.

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