Ciairín de Buis

Interim Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining Extern, Ciairín de Buis was CEO of Women for Election, a non-partisan organisation that inspires, equips and supports more women to run for election. She previously worked in the area of children’s rights, most notably as CEO of Start Strong. She is a board member of the Children’s Rights Alliance and of Sonas, Freedom from domestic violence, as well as a previous Parole Board member.

Danny McQuillan
Director of Services

For over twenty years Danny has worked in the community and voluntary sector holding a variety of positions both voluntarily and in paid capacities. In his role as Director of Services, Danny draws on his particular areas of expertise which include service development and delivery, service commissioning and quality assurance, policy development, public relations, fundraising and social media development.

Danny oversees the delivery of a range of services to people who are homeless, people leaving prison, those living with an addiction and providing support to refugees.

As the Director of Services on an all-Ireland basis, he is responsible for providing leadership to the directorate, ensuring a long-term strategy is in place and that it is achieving its objectives in full, as well as maintaining and substantially growing service provision across all-Ireland and assessing potential for growth into other geographic areas.

Dr Gavin Adams
Director, Business Development

Gavin joined Extern in April 2014 as Director of Business Development. Gavin was formerly Senior Manager for Business Development with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, where he led on the organisation’s fundraising, finance, public affairs, retail and communications/marketing activities across Northern Ireland. Previously he was a Programme Manager and Head of Programmes with the Big Lottery Fund where he managed the assessment of funding applications, existing grants and developed new funding programmes.

Gavin has a passion for the voluntary sector and is currently a non-executive Director of Ulster Supported Employment Limited - which provides employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities.

In his role as Director of Business Development Gavin is responsible for providing leadership to Extern’s income generation, communications and marketing and public affairs activity.

Jonathan Carroll
Director of People and Organisational Development

Jonathan Carroll was appointed Director of People and Organisational Development in October 2019.

Jonathan has worked in senior HR leadership roles for over 20 years in the retail, media and construction sectors for local, national and multinational organisations.

 Jonathan brings a wealth of experience to Extern of creating and implementing HR strategies and people development initiatives to support business growth and change.

Pauline Flynn

Interim Director of Finance

Pauline, who is from Belfast, is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She attended Queens University Belfast and has a 1st Class honours degree in Accounting and Economics, and a postgraduate diploma in accounting. Pauline has held senior finance roles across a variety of sectors, managing a range of multi-disciplinary teams. For the last 17 years, she worked in two large charities, Director of Finance for Praxis Care, and Group Director of Finance & Corporate Services for Inspire Wellbeing.

Leslie Ann Scott

Assistant Director, Young People & Families

Leslie Ann Scott has over 18 years’ experience with Extern, starting as a volunteer with our services in Northern Ireland and as a project worker on the Time Out Service in Fermanagh before becoming a manager for our services in Dublin.

As a qualified social worker with experience in child protection services, Leslie Ann is committed to the Extern vision of supporting families and young people to positively change their lives through the provision of quality assured and outcomes based support services.

As Assistant Director, Leslie Ann is also committed to leading the Young People and Families team in service design, development and delivery through best practice application and encouraging an environment of innovation and learning across the island of Ireland.

Thelma Abernethy

Assistant Director, Communities

Thelma has over 20 years’ experience working in the Voluntary and Community sector developing and delivering responsive services to meet the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by homelessness, alcohol and drug issues, mental health, and dementia.

Thelma started her career in youth work supporting young people across Europe to develop/maintain their skills and abilities for life at a time of major reform across eastern Europe. She then moved into the area of homelessness and developed a range of services to enable individuals to develop their confidence and skills, and to obtain and secure accommodation.

Following this she worked as area manager  for the Alzheimer’s Society, developing services across Northern Ireland to enable people affected by dementia to live well with the condition. Following this, she became Director of Addiction NI, developing the organisation’s reach across NI and diversifying the range of services provided.

Mal Byrne

Assistant Director of Drug and Alcohol services

Mal has worked in the homeless and addiction field since 1999 with Extern. As a student, Mal worked in the Ormeau Centre, initially on placement and then as a bank worker for two years. Mal worked as an Addictions Social Work practitioner from 1999 – 2005 in Extern’s Homeless Support Team.

Moving to Senior Social Worker in 2005, Mal oversaw the development of two PHA funded projects addressing chronic drug and alcohol issues within the homeless setting, including the innovative multi-agency partnership for the Drugs Accommodation Support Project aimed at housing opiate drug users in the homeless sector.

In 2019, Mal became the interim Assistant Director in Extern overseeing all of their communities’ portfolio incorporating homeless hostels, criminal justice projects and 15 drug and alcohol services both in Northern Ireland and the Republic. Currently, Mal holds the post of Assistant Director of Drug and Alcohol services in Extern. Mal is also a member of Belfast Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team and was a founding member of Northern Ireland Alcohol and Drug Alliance.  

Mal is also on the Board of The Council for the Homeless.