Our Leadership

Our people dedicate themselves to a better transmission grid, for the benefit of all. We achieve this goal with a combination of expert skills from a wide range of experience. You can learn more about our board and senior management team here.

Aidan SkellyChair

Aidan Skelly was appointed as Chair of the SONI Board of Directors in January 2020. He is also the Chief Financial Officer of EirGrid Group. He has held this position since June 2005. He was also Interim Chief Executive of EirGrid Group between January 2018 and June 2018. Aidan was formerly Finance Director with Waterford Stanley Limited. He also worked with Waterford Crystal from 1987 to 2002, during which time he held a number of finance and commercial positions in Ireland and in the UK. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a Commerce graduate of University College Dublin. He also holds an MBS in Corporate Leadership from Dublin City University.

Jo Aston Director

Ms Aston joined SONI Ltd as Managing Director in May 2019 and joined the SONI Board of Directors on 28 June. Ms Aston joins SONI from the Utility Regulator, where she most recently served as Director of Wholesale Energy Regulation for more than five years. In this role, she was responsible for the regulation of the Single Electricity Market (SEM) on the island, in partnership with the electricity regulator in the Republic of Ireland.

Last year, Ms Aston led a fundamental redesign of the Single Electricity Market, involving the introduction of new arrangements to increase both competition and downward pressure on prices.

Prior to her work in the regulation of electricity, Ms Aston was director of water regulation for seven years. She is a graduate of Queens University, Belfast, is a chartered civil engineer and has worked in the private and public sectors.

Rodney Doyle Director

Rodney Doyle was appointed to the SONI Board of Directors in January 2020. He is also Chief Operations Officer at EirGrid Group and General Manager of the Single Electricity Market Operator (SEMO). He previously held the position of Director of Information Services. Rodney also held a number of other positions in EirGrid including European Market Integration Manager; Manager of the East West Interconnector Business Readiness Project, and Ancillary Services Manager. Before his time with EirGrid and ESB National Grid, Rodney worked as the chief adviser in the networks division of the Competition Authority of New Zealand concentrating on electricity and gas regulation/market design issues. Rodney is a member of a number of key European TSO and market cooperation groups. Rodney has a BA (Economics), MA (Economics) and an MBA from UCD.

Mark FoleyChief Executive

Mark Foley joined EirGrid Group as chief executive in June 2018, having held the role of Managing Director of Land Solutions in Coillte since January 2016. Previous to that, Mark was Managing Director of Coillte Enterprise where he led the development of new businesses in renewable energy, telecommunications, land development and land sales.

Before that, from November 2000 to August 2008, Mark was Director of Capital Programmes at Dublin Airport Authority. In this role he was responsible for master planning, permitting, planning and delivery of c. €1.5bn in airport infrastructure at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports. Prior to that Mark held a number of senior executives roles with multinationals in the Speciality Chemicals and Electronics sectors. Mark has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree from University College Dublin, a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin as has attended executive development courses in Penn State University and IMD.

Jo Aston Managing Director, SONI Ltd

Ms Aston joined SONI Ltd as Managing Director in May 2019. Ms Aston joins SONI from the Utility Regulator, where she most recently served as Director of Wholesale Energy Regulation for more than five years. In this role, she was responsible for the regulation of the Single Electricity Market (SEM) on the island, in partnership with the electricity regulator in the Republic of Ireland.

Last year, Ms Aston led a fundamental redesign of the Single Electricity Market, involving the introduction of new arrangements to increase both competition and downward pressure on prices.

Prior to her work in the regulation of electricity, Ms Aston was director of water regulation for seven years. She is a graduate of Queens University, Belfast, is a chartered civil engineer and has worked in the private and public sectors.

Alan Thomson Head of Internal Audit and Compliance

Alan Thomson is our Group Head of Internal Audit & Compliance and is responsible for providing assurance to the Board of Directors on the adequacy and effectiveness of the systems of internal control, risk management and compliance. In order to ensure his independence in performing this role, Alan reports directly to the Chair of the Board’s Audit Committee.

Alan was appointed in 2013 and has over 25 years' experience in the areas of internal audit, risk management and corporate governance in the energy, financial services, health and public sectors. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK & Ireland) and holds the Global IIA Qualification in Internal Audit Leadership.

Alan CampbellManager of Grid Development and Interconnection

Alan was appointed Manager of Grid Development and Interconnection with SONI (System Operator for Northern Ireland) in July 2017. Alan leads the team responsible for managing planning applications and delivering consents for grid transmission and interconnection projects, including the proposed 400kV North South Interconnector.

Campbell joins SONI with more than 15 years’ experience in the electricity industry. Having graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a First Class Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Alan began his career at AstraZeneca in England before joining ESB International. He has held a number of senior positions in ESB, and, most recently, was responsible for managing its 400MW Coolkeeragh Power Station in the North West.

Sam Matthews Grid Operations Manager Real Time

Dr Sam Matthews has over 20 years’ experience in the UK power and gas industry. Dr Matthews joined SONI in 2013 and is currently the Grid Operations Manager in Real Time. He has responsibility for the control centres in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which run 24/7. Dr Matthews previously worked for National Grid, the transmission network in Great Britain, where he held a variety of commercial and technical management positions. He has also worked for Entergy as an energy trader and for Alstom in HVDC systems. Dr Matthews holds a PhD in Power Systems Harmonics from The Queen's University of Belfast and an MBA from Warwick University.

Sean Mackin Manager of Corporate Applications

Sean Mackin is responsible for the design, delivery and support of Eirgrid Group Corporate Applications. He has over 20 years’ experience working in the IT industry and 13 years’ experience working in SONI as SEMO IT manager, Application and Projects Manager and Corporate Applications Manager. Sean leads a large team of IS professionals in Dublin and Belfast and has extensive experience in delivering large IT projects and services. He holds a BSc in Business Studies and an MSc in Computers & Information Systems from University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

Colin CairnduffHead of HR Operations

Reporting to the HR & Corporate Services Director, Colin is responsible for HR Operations across the EirGrid Group. Colin leads a team of dedicated HR professionals based in both Dublin and Belfast who provide advice and guidance to managers to support the delivery of the Group business strategy. With circa 500 employees across the Group, HR Operations operate a business partner model with the HR Ops team, providing expertise in talent acquisition, compensation and benefits and payroll. In addition Colin is responsible for Group industrial relations.