Board of Directors

The Current Women's Aid Board of Directors are: 

SuzannSHandley Photoe Handle

Suzanne in skilled in Finance, Management Accounting, Governance and Organizational Development. 

She is an experienced Finance Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the not-for-profit and private sectors over the past twenty-five years.




Maura McLaughlinMcLaughlin Maura HS (White)

Maura is a partner in a Dublin law firm, and has 20 years’ experience advising public and private companies, as well as public sector bodies, on all aspects of company law and a wide range of commercial matters, including investments, financings and acquisition/disposal transactions.




Rachel Mullen Rachel

Rachel is an independent consultant on equality and diversity issues with over twenty-five years’ experience working with and leading organisations to address inequality, gender-based violence and human rights concerns.

She is a Fellow with the Social Change Initiative and co-founder of Values Lab, an initiative supporting values-led institutional and social change.

Rachel has a particular interest and passion for supporting organisations and coalitions to develop a values-led approach to their work.



Jennie O'Reilly Jennie OReilly WA web

Jennie has over 20 years communications, marketing, and branding experience in the private, public and non-profit sector.  

She was previously CEO of Bodywhys – the Eating Disorders Association.

Jennie previously served two terms as a Board Director with Ruhama.  She has a keen interest in gender equality and is passionate about supporting women to make the best decisions for themselves.  



Ailbhe Smyth (Chair)Ailbhe Smyth Photo Mark Stedman

Ailbhe Smyth is a long-time campaigner on feminist, LGBT and other social issues. Most recently, she played a leading role in the marriage equality referendum campaign in 2015, and was Co-Director of the Together for Yes campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment.

She was the founding head of Women’s Studies at UCD where she lectured for many years.   



Nusha YonkovaNusha

Dr Nusha Yonkova is Gender, Migration and Anti-trafficking expert. She oversees policy, research, advocacy and campaigns relating to anti-trafficking and gender-related migration issues for the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

Originally from Bulgaria, Nusha is a qualified engineer and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Intercultural Studies from Dublin City University.

She became a Doctor of Philosophy at University College Dublin with her work ‘A Study of Gender Specific Approaches to Assistance of Trafficked, Sexually Exploited Women in Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia and the UK’. 

Nusha was the first migrant woman elected onto the board of the National Women’s Council of Ireland. She was also elected as chair of the European Network of Migrant Women, a pan-European network. Nusha is presently serving on the boards of Ruhama and Women’s Aid. 

Company Secretary: Mary O'Connor

Mary O'ConnorMary joined Women’s Aid in 2018.  She is Personal Assistant to the CEO and Company Secretary. 

In 2018, Mary achieved an MSc in Equality Studies from UCD and holds a post graduate qualification in Business Studies. 

She has extensive client management experience in the corporate world and combines this with a desire to work for social justice and change, particularly with regard to women’s equality.