British & Irish Lions appoints first ever Independent Non-Executive Directors

The British & Irish Lions has appointed Nuala Walsh and David Jones as Independent Non-Executive Directors. [more]


The British & Irish Lions has appointed Nuala Walsh and David Jones as Independent Non-Executive Directors.

Both Nuala and David will join The British & Irish Lions Board of Directors and will support Chairman Ieuan Evans, CEO Ben Calveley and the wider leadership team on the delivery of key strategic priorities.

Their focus will include providing expert advice on all matters of Board business and they will begin their roles as INEDs on 26 April.

Nuala Walsh has significant experience serving as an Independent Non-Executive Director and strategic advisor, with a strong global commercial and governance background. Recognised among the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Finance, her expertise lies in reputation management, culture, communications, behaviour and decision science. She is currently Founder CEO of MindEquity Consulting, and President of the Harvard Club of Ireland.

As a Non-Executive, her board appointments span business, sport, research and non-profit organisations including Council Member and Vice-Chair of The Football Association’s Inclusion Advisory Board; Founding Member of the Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists; former Vice-Chair at UN Women (UK); Trustee at the Innocence Project; Non-Executive Director at Basketball Ireland; Advisor at World Athletics and JD Haspel executive search. She spent three decades at global investment firms including Blackrock, Merrill Lynch, and Standard Life Aberdeen where she served as Chief Marketing Officer. A behavioural scientist and lecturer, she publishes in Forbes, Inc, and Psychology Today on leadership decision-making.

Commenting on her appointment Nuala Walsh said, “I feel privileged to join the board of The British & Irish Lions as an Independent Non-Executive Director at this exciting time. Having operated across a diverse range of global sports and industries, I see tremendous opportunity and look forward to contributing in a meaningful way. As a sporting brand, The British & Irish Lions is simply peerless. I appreciate first-hand how much its values and heritage represent the best of rugby. It continues to inspire generations of fans, players, stakeholders, and communities, leaving an enduring legacy wherever it goes. The countdown is on for Australia in 2025.”

David Jones is a highly experienced business leader and entrepreneur, with significant expertise in digital marketing. He is the founder and CEO of The Brandtech Group, a marketing technology holding company employing more than 8,000 people worldwide. Prior to creating The Brandtech Group in 2015, David was the youngest global CEO in the history of advertising, heading both Havas and Havas Worldwide and the only British CEO of a French publicly listed company. Jones is also the co-founder and Chair of the Board of Trustees of One Young World, a non-profit organisation that provides young leaders with a global platform through which to effect positive change. He was a member of both the Anheuser-Busch InBev and L’Oréal sustainability boards.

Commenting on his appointment David Jones said, “It is a tremendous honour to be appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director at The British & Irish Lions. I have a huge passion for rugby, have followed the Lions all my life and I cannot wait to get started. I am really excited at what the future holds, and the strong vision CEO Ben Calveley has for the organisation. The Lions already has a large captive and engaged audience globally and I look forward to lending my expertise and exploring ways in which we can further enhance this strong connection with our fan base.”

leuan Evans, Chairman of The British & Irish Lions Board, said, “We are delighted to welcome Nuala and David to The British & Irish Lions board as Independent Non-Executive Directors. Nuala and David will bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and real-world experience from their many roles at the very top of global business which will be invaluable in delivering our key strategic objectives. The British & Irish Lions is at an exciting juncture. Our end destination and long-term strategic ambition is to be the most successful and admired sporting brand. To achieve our ambitions, we need to surround ourselves with the very best people and both Nuala and David fall into that category. I look forward to working closely with them in the coming months and years.”

Ben Calveley, British & Irish Lions CEO, said, “These are two key appointments for The British & Irish Lions as we continue our journey of improvement both on and off the field. Nuala and David will add significantly to our board and governance capabilities as well as supporting the delivery of our strategic ambitions. Their respective skill sets are a perfect fit as we seek to unite and inspire through extraordinary rugby experiences, and we are excited to start working with them.”

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