Board of


OUR Board

Self Help Africa is governed by an independent Board of Directors. This board directs policy and strategy for the organisation, as well as providing operational and financial oversight.
The Board of Directors are skills based, and serve the organisation in a voluntary capacity.



Rowena Dwyer is the head of Policy, Planning & Government Relations with
Enterprise Ireland. Enterprise Ireland is the state agency responsible for
supporting the development of Irish exporting enterprises

Prior to this role, Rowena was Chief Economist with the IRish Farmers’
Association. In this role, Rowena provided economic and statistical analysis
for IFA elected representatives, and steered the development of IFA policy
in areas of concern to farm enterprise development, such as Brexit and CAP

Rowena has also previously worked with PriceWaterhouse Management
Consultants and with the Ministry of Education Ghana as an Economist.

Rowena has a Postgraduate Certificate in Financial Management from the
Institute of Public Administration. She also has a Master’s Degree in Public
Economics from York University and a BA in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin.



Finance Director

Dervla is a qualified FCA with over 16 years PQE in practice and industry. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from University College Dublin, Dervla continued to study for her ACA qualification while
working in the audit department of a top 5 audit and advisory practice. Dervla has considerable audit, advisory and transaction experience across a range of growth focused businesses covering SME’s, multinationals and listed
companies both domestically and internationally.
In 2009 Dervla moved into the recruitment industry and joined Sigmar. She is responsible for the finance function of the Group with particular emphasis on working capital management, financial reporting, project management, statutory accounting and audit, taxation, payroll, legal and corporate compliance.
Bachelor of Commerce, University College Dublin
Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ireland




Marion Byrne is a qualified social worker whose early career was in the Probation and Welfare Service of the Department of Justice where she operated at a senior management level within the Dublin and South Western Regional areas.

Marion was seconded in 1996 to ADM/Pobal, an organisation established by the EU and Irish Government to manage programmes on behalf of these authorities. There were a number of key functions carried out by the company.

One of these was the provision of developmental and strategic supports to beneficiary organisations in thematic areas such as the establishment of partnerships, community development, access to the labour market, promotion of social enterprise, and the development of strategies to address issues faced by rural smallholders.

Other functions  included the appraisal of proposals and the allocation funds, financial management and auditory responsibilities. Performance monitoring, reporting to the relevant bodies and influencing mainstream provision were also central. Marion was responsible within the organisation for eight programmes, reporting to six departments and agencies with an annual budget of over €70 Million. These programmes had wide ranging foci including local socio economic development in both rural and urban areas, initiatives to address educational disadvantage, tackle rural transport deprivation, and promote inclusion for people with disabilities and assist in the integration of immigrants into Ireland.



Board Member

Sheila Walsh is CarTrawler’s Chief People Officer. She has been part of CarTrawler’s senior leadership team since 2016 having previously held the role of Director of People.

As Chief People Officer, Sheila is responsible for the development and implementation of the People strategy ensuring alignment with business objectives to maximise organisational effectiveness. Sheila works closely with the Leadership Team in creating a culture that supports high performing teams and attracts and retains the best talent as under-pinned by our vision and values.

A hands-on and motivated HR professional, Sheila has a broad range of experience across many sectors including; software, telco, publishing, healthcare and not-for-profit. She strongly believes that the provision of meaning and purpose within the workplace results in engaged employees who live and breathe the behaviours that support sustained business success.

Sheila holds a MBS in Business Practice from University College Cork, is an accredited Life Coach & Lifeskills Consultant and is an associate member of CIPD.

Advisory Committees

Self Help Africa’s work is overseen and supported by a number of sub-committees, including a Programmes & Advisory Committee, Audit & Finance Committee, and Fundraising & Communications Committee.  These committees are comprised of board representatives and external specialists with professional expertise.