Ruairí Quinn, T.D., was appointed Minister for Education and Skills in March 2011. He has been a
public representative since 1974 and T.D. for Dublin South-East since 1977. As Minister for Education
and Skills, reform, jobs and fairness are at the heart of his agenda. Minister Quinn is passionate
about delivering high-quality education to our growing population in a fair and equitable way.
Ruairí Quinn has broad political experience, having served as a Minister in six different Departments,
including as Minister for Finance from 1993-1997. From his time in government to serving as Leader
of the Labour Party between 1997 and 2002, his depth of experience and political acumen is
extensive. His political memoir, Straight Left – A Journey in Politics, was published in 2005. Before
entering public life, Ruairí Quinn was an architect and town planner. He is married to Liz Allman. He
has two sons and a daughter.
Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith is Dean (Academic) for Arts, Education and Law at Griffith University.
Previously the Dean of the Faculty of Education, she has also been a sole or chief investigator on a
significant number of ARC and government funded projects over the last decade. These have been
primarily in the fields of literacy and assessment, with particular focus on teacher judgment,
evaluative frameworks and the literacy-curriculum-assessment interface. Professor Wyatt-Smith was a
secondary teacher in English, French and German, and Head of Department in English. She has
engaged in research across all levels of schooling, including work with students with disabilities and
Regina holds an MBA from Dublin City University. Following her third level education in Engineering
undertaken in Waterford and Cork, Regina’s career began as an Electronics Engineer with Amdahl, a
computer mainframe manufacturer, progressing to become a co-founder of the services and
consulting group there. Regina was appointed CEO of Fujitsu Services in August 2006 and in May
2009, Regina was appointed CEO of Fujitsu Ireland where she leads a 350 strong team focussed on
delivering ICT services to the Irish marketplace. Regina is the current Chair of ICT Ireland within IBEC,
a Member of the Council of Dublin Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Dublin City
University governing authority. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland (FIEI) an
Director of EirGrid.
Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and former English table tennis international. A
right-handed table-tennis player, Syed won many titles, but says that he “choked” at the Sydney
Olympics: “when I walked out into the mega-watt light of the competition arena, I could hardly hit
the ball.” Syed has worked as a commentator for the BBC and Eurosport, and as a journalist for The
Times since 1999. He is a regular pundit on radio and television, commentating on sporting, cultural
and political issues. His first book, Bounce, won the ‘Best New Writer’ of the British Sports Book
Awards (2011). Syed stood as the Labour Candidate in the 2001 UK General
Election in Wokingham coming third in a safe Conservative seat.