Professor Deirdre Heenan was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Communication) and Provost (Coleraine & Magee) of Ulster University in 2012.
A distinguished researcher, author and broadcaster, she is a member of the Institute for Research in Social Sciences and has published widely on healthcare, education policy, social care and devolution. She is a co-founder and former co-director of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey.
In 2001 she was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award and this was followed by a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy in 2006. In 2008 she secured an ESRC fellowship and spent nine months as policy adviser in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
In 2011 she was appointed by the health minister to join a five strong panel of experts to oversee a radical review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. In 2012 she was appointed to the Irish President’s Council of State as one of the seven personal nominees of President Michael D Higgins.
She is a regular contributor to the BBC NI flagship politics programme ‘The View’.
In 2014 she was appointed by the Labour Party to co-chair an independent commission on intergenerational poverty in Northern Ireland. The Heenan-Anderson Independent Commission was published in 2015. She is a Board member of the British Irish Association and a member of the Working Group on Higher Education in the 30% Club.