Watt Named as Fourth Independent FAI Director

Robert Watt has been named as the fourth independent director to join the interim Board of the FAI.

Watt is Secretary-General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and is one of the most highly ranked civil servants in Ireland, having led the Department for the past nine years.

He previously served as assistant secretary at the Department of Finance, as a director with Indecon Economic Consultants and London Economics and a part-time lecturer at Trinity College Dublin.

It is not unprecedented for a senior public servant to join the Board with Niamh O’Donoghue having done likewise while Secretary general at the Department of Social Protection.

Watt is the fourth and final Independent Director, for now, to join the Board of the FAI, alongside Independent Chairperson Roy Barrett, Catherine Guy and Liz Joyce.

The appointment was ratified at a virtual meeting of the FAI Board, following recommendations received from the Nominations Committee.

The appointment of an Independent Chairperson and three Independent Directors is a cornerstone of the Governance Review Group report published in June 2019.

“I am honoured and delighted to take up this role and I look forward to assisting with the reform of the Association and the development of Irish football in conjunction with my fellow directors and all stakeholders,” said Watt last night.

“Robert brings a wealth of financial and governance experience to the Board and will play a vital role as we deliver real change for football in Ireland,” added Chair Roy Barrett.

The interim Board was to have served until this summer but the proposal now is that this be extended to summer 2021 to oversee the implementation of Governance reforms, including the appointment of a new CEO.

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