8 March 2021

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science TD Simon Harris has today welcomed the appointment of Professor Eeva Leinonen as the next president of Maynooth University.

Professor Leinonen will succeed Professor Philip Nolan, who has led the University for the past 10 years. Professor Leinonen’s appointment is effective from 1 October 2021.

Minister of State, Anne Rabbitte said:

I am delighted to learn of the apointment of Professor Leinonen to this important position and I wish to congratulate Professor Eeva Leinonen on her appointment as the next president of Maynooth University.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:

I want to congratulate Professor Nolan for an incredible tenure as President of Maynooth University. He has become a familiar face to many of us through his role on the National Public Health Emergency Team.

Throughout his final years as President, he has been extraordinarily busy leading this university and balancing that with his responsibilities as member of NPHET.  I want to thank him for all that work. We are indebted to him for his leadership at this crucial time.

On International Women’s Day, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Leinonen. Professor Leinonen will become the third female University president. Last year, we had none.

 The Minister continued:

While we have much more to do on gender equality, this is an important milestone.  Professor Leinonen will help deliver high quality innovative education, world class research for all irrespective of background.  Professor Leinonen brings with her formidable knowledge and significant international experience.

Professor Leinonen has held the role of Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia since 2016, having previously been Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.  Prior to moving to Australia in 2012, she was Vice Principal (Education) at King’s College London.

Originally from Finland, Professor Leinonen has a background in linguistics and psychology.  She engages with researchers in Finland and Italy in ongoing research into pragmatic language development in children and contextual processing deficits of children and young adults with autistic spectrum disorders.