Jean Webster -Chairperson
Parliamentary Secretary to Senator Susan O'Keefe
Jean has a degree in Public Administration and an MSC in Information studies. A qualified children's services librarian, Jean is a passionate advocate for early years learning through the exploration of books, art and all forms of creativity. In her role as the Waterford County Librarian Jean initiated a County Reading Strategy to promote engagement with books from birth. She believes strongly in the value of strategic partnerships and in empowering parents to be their children's most amazing teachers. Jean brings significant experience to the Board having held senior management positions in the Brewing and Pharmaceutical Construction sectors. She currently works as an assistant to a Senator and lives and works in Sligo.
Gert Ackerman - Communications Consultant & Publicist
Gert Ackermann is a communications consultant working in the non-profit and publishing industries. Originally from South Africa, he studied Political Science and Journalism. He has worked for over 15 years in fields of journalism, broadcasting, book publishing and public relations, and he currently employed as Communications Officer at The Wheel and Clann Credo - the Social Investment Fund.
Maria Corbett - Legal and Policy Director & deputy Chief Executive
Maria joined the Alliance in 2001 as its first Policy Officer. In her current role Maria is responsible for developing the Alliance's strategic policy and legal work; she is also Deputy Chief Executive. Prior to joining the Alliance, Maria worked as a researcher with Kelleher Associates, University College Dublin and in a freelance capacity. During this period she authored several reports and co-authored two books Left Out on their Own: Young People Leaving Care in Ireland and Young Men on the Margins. Maria has worked with Focus Ireland, in a High Support Unit, in South Africa and Vietnam and acted as an external expert for the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Maria is currently a Board member of Kids' Own Publishing Partnership and was previously a Board Member of the Irish Refugee Council. Maria holds a Bachelor Degree of Social Science (Hons), a Bachelor Degree of Law (Ord/Dist) and a MA (Hons) from National University of Ireland, Maynooth and McMaster University, Canada.