Regional Development, Local Governance, Strategic Planning, and Project Development

Michael Heaney (Micheál Ó hÉanaigh) has extensive experience in and has operated in leadership and senior management roles in the statutory, local government, local development, and community and cultural sectors.

Most recently, Michael completed a term as CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, the Irish state agency with responsibility for the economic, social and cultural development of Ireland’s Irish-speaking regions. Prior to that, Michael spent sixteen years as Director of Planning, Economic Development, Cultural Services and Community Services with Donegal County Council. He has extensive experience in regional development (including cross-border and transnational projects), strategic planning, project implementation, enterprise and inward investment, capacity-building, sustainability, and in the community, cultural and arts sectors. He has been responsible for planning for, and implementation of, a range of strategic projects in sectors such as the green economy, the blue economy, the creative economy, tourism and diaspora engagement. At present, Michael holds the position of Vice-President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), with specific responsibility for tourism, culture and youth.

Micheál holds a Master’s Degree in Rural Development from the University of Galway and a Master’s Degree in Education, Training and Development from the University of Sheffield, among other qualifications.