Paul Connolly
CEO of the Marine Institute

Dr Paul Connolly is CEO of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s state agency for marine research, technology development and innovation. He previously served as Director of Fisheries and Ecosystems Advisory Services (FEAS) at the Marine Institute, leading world-class staff to provide scientific advice on the sustainable exploitation of Ireland’s fisheries resource and marine ecosystems. Dr Connolly is a former president of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES); a network of 20 countries, which aims to advance scientific understanding of marine ecosystems and provides impartial scientific advice for meeting conservation, management, and sustainability goals.

He has chaired the quarterly meetings of the Irish Fisheries Science Research Partnership (IFSRP) since it was established by the Minister in 2008. Dr Connolly also co-chairs quarterly meetings with the environmental NGO’s which discuss ocean sustainability issues. Dr Connolly led the development of the ICES Strategic Plan (2014 – 2018) which was adopted by 20 member countries, and worked closely with government, agencies and the Marine Institute team to develop Ireland’s integrated marine plan, Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth. He also led the executive in developing the Marine Institute’s Strategic Plan, Building Ocean Knowledge Delivering Ocean Services (2018 – 2022). Dr Connolly has also led the development of strategy for the Marine Institute’s Newport Research facility which has led to an increase in research programmes in fisheries, aquaculture, genetics, climate and ecosystem science. Dr Connolly has a PhD from UCD (1986), a Masters in Business Administration from NUI Galway (2006) and completed the Timoney Advanced Leadership Programme in 2016.