News and Views

Professor Ursula Kilkelly appointed new VP for Global Engagement

17 Feb 2023
Professor Ursula Kilkelly appointed new VP for Global Engagement
  • Professor Kilkelly will lead the implementation of a strategic Global Engagement Plan for UCC, strengthening the university’s international profile.


University College Cork has appointed Professor Ursula Kilkelly as its first Vice President for Global Engagement.

A newly created role and a key action arising from UCC’s new Strategic Plan, Professor Kilkelly will lead the development and implementation of a strategic Global Engagement Plan for UCC, strengthening the university’s international profile and growing the university's global reach.

A Professor of Law and currently the Head of UCC’s College of Business and Law, Professor Kilkelly will assume the role on June 1st.

A native of Castlebar, County Mayo and a graduate of UL, QUB and UCC, Professor Kilkelly joined UCC as a lecturer in 1999, and was appointed Professor in 2011. She was Dean of the School of Law from 2012 to 2019 and has been Head of the College of Business and Law since 2013.

Professor Kilkelly said: “I am excited to be taking up this pivotal leadership position in UCC at a time of immense global challenge. Growing the University’s international reach is a central pillar of our new Strategic Plan – Securing Our Future 2023-2028 - and I am looking forward to leading our global engagement, as Vice President, to ensure the University’s commitments to people and planet have global impact, in line with our vision and mission."

UCC President, Professor John O’Halloran, congratulated Professor Kilkelly on her appointment: “Throughout her time as the Head of Business and Law, Ursula has brought University strategy to life, resulting in the establishment and development of Cork University Business School and the development of the School of Law. She has led significant improvements across all areas of our academic programmes, student engagement, research performance and internationalisation achieving prestigious accreditations and enhanced ranking performance in the College.”

“Ursula has also been a valuable member of the University Leadership Team since 2013, contributing to decision-making across all areas with an analytical and strategic mindset. Internationalisation has always been at the heart of her approach,” he said.

Professor Kilkelly is a prolific author and highly regarded scholar in international children’s rights law, having held visiting positions and delivered keynote addresses in universities all over the world. A sought-after collaborator, Professor Kilkelly has led and partnered on numerous international and national funded research projects, and in 2022/2023 she holds the Honorary Rotating Chair Enforcement of Children’s Rights in Leiden University.

Professor Kilkelly is a Chartered Director with the Institute of Directors and has developed significant experience in governance and strategy through numerous Board appointments. She has been Chairperson of the Board of Management of Oberstown Children Detention Campus since 2016, and is also a Board member of both the Irish Management Institute and Hockey Ireland.


University College Cork

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