Former Unilever CEO to chair Smurfit School board

A UCD graduate, Niall FitzGerald replaces Paul Haran who held the chair since 2005

Former Unilever chief executive Niall FitzGerald has become the new chairman of the UCD Michael Smurfit graduate business school advisory board.

A UCD graduate, Mr FitzGerald replaces Paul Haran, who held the chair since 2005.

Mr FitzGerald was chief executive and chairman of Unilever from 1996 to 2004. He has also chaired a broad range of companies and public bodies over the years including Reuters, the British Museum, the International Business Council and the Nelson Mandela Legacy trust.

He also served on the Boards of Bank of Ireland, Ericsson, Merck, Prudential Corporation and the World Economic Forum.


Mr FitzGerald was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire in 2002, and holds a number of honorary doctorates from American, British and Irish universities. He has also been the recipient of numerous other awards for his work on global business issues, including the Society of Chemical Industry Centenary Medal; the Royal Dublin Society Gold Medal for Industry and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.

“We welcome Niall on board and look forward to working with him as chairman over the coming years. His appointment reflects our international ambition for our students. Like Niall, they must compete with graduates of the best business schools in the world - and therefore so do we. He will serve as a role model for our students and his insights and experience will be invaluable to us as we seek to further develop the School’s reputation and reach,” said Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dean UCD Business.

The UCD Smurfit school advisory board includes Michael Carey; Laurence G Crowley; Dr Gerald Farrell; Prof Tony Brabazon; Liam FitzGerald; Prof Patrick Gibbons; Emer Gilvarry; Aidan Heavey; Prof Mary Lambkin; Martin Murphy; Rónán Murphy; Gary McGann; Prof Damien McLoughlin; Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; Angela Moore; Tom Roche; Michael Smurfit Jnr; David Widger and Dr Michael WJ Smurfit.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist