Press Release 09 Jun 2014

Dublin, Monday  9th June 2014 - IDA IRELAND, the foreign investment agency of the Irish Government, has enjoyed strong results over the last number of years, with over 161,000 people now working for over 1,000 foreign companies based in Ireland.

In order to consolidate this success and build for the future, the Board of the IDA is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Shanahan to the role of CEO Designate of IDA Ireland. Martin is currently the CEO of Forfás, the advisory board for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation.

Martin will take up the role in August and lead the development of a new strategy for IDA, along with client companies, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, other Government departments and sister agencies.  

IDA together with the Public Appointments Service, and PWC, undertook an extensive search program to find the best candidate to lead the organisation through a new phase in its successful development.

Chairman of the IDA Frank Ryan said: “Martin Shanahan is an energetic senior executive, with extensive experience in both public and private sectors. He will bring a wealth of knowledge of economic development from his previous role as CEO of Forfás.  Working with the current dynamic IDA team, he will build on the successes of recent years and take the organisation into a new phase of its development. I wish Martin all the best in his new role and have every confidence the organisation will prosper under his leadership.”


Since 2010 Martin D. Shanahan has been Chief Executive of Forfás – the Government’s policy advisory agency for enterprise, trade, science, technology and innovation.

Since joining Forfas in 2005 he has been to the forefront in the development of enterprise and innovation policy in Ireland. He is currently a member of the Board of Forfás, the National Competitiveness Council and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

Prior to joining Forfás, Shanahan held management responsibility in Fáilte Ireland for the professional development of the tourism sector. Earlier in his career, Shanahan held a number of general management posts in the private sector in tourism and hospitality. Shanahan holds an M.Res (Educational Research) from Lancaster University, a M.Sc. and H.Dip from DIT and a B.Sc (Mgmt) from Trinity College Dublin. He has undertaken executive education in economics at Oxford University and at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard. 

For further information:

Contact IDA Corporate Communications:

Emmet Oliver: 086 8235597
Kevin Sammon: 087 6188564

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