About Us - Staff


    • Kate Clifford - Director

    Kate holds the post of Director since April 2013 within RCN having previously worked as a Rural Enabler (Institutions) within the Rural Enabler Programme working with the Orange Order, the GAA, Churches and others to address issues of sectarianism and racism.

    Kate is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, with a BSc in Agricultural Economics and Management and an MSc in Rural Development. She has a strong background in creative thinking techniques, facilitation skills, research techniques, and supporting groups in the areas of project development and implementation. Kate has tutored on the MSc in Rural Sustainable Development for the past ten years and also co-ordinates, designs and teaches on the NUI Galway Community Development Practice Diploma course.
    In the past, Kate has been a mentor for the International Fund for Ireland’s Community Leadership Programme and was Vice Chair of Rural Community Network, she was part of the DARD Monitoring Committee for the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, a member of CFNI’s Communities in Transition Team and their Supporting Communities Initiative.

    Kate’s particular interests are partnership co-ordination and development, storytelling for peace building, networking and managing local development.

    • Kathryn Kerr - Finance & IT Officer

    Kathryn graduated from the University of Ulster in Education and Maths and worked in Belfast and London before returning to Northern Ireland in 1992 to take up a post in Rural Community Network.
    Kathryn has worked in many roles within the organisation - her current role is that of Finance & IT Officer with responsibility for the day to day finances and financial procedures of the Network including payroll and pensions. Kathryn also assists with the organisation of Board meetings and oversees the organisation’s biennial elections. Kathryn is also responsible for maintaining the Network’s IT system and the website. She is a line manager and a member of the Corporate Management Team.

    • Aidan Campbell - Policy & Public Affairs Officer

    Aidan took up the post of Policy and Public Affairs Officer recently although has been with RCN since 2007 as Community Development Officer (Learning and Skills).  He has responsibility for developing, managing and co-ordinating RCN’s work on policy and research, advocating for sustainable change through enhanced governance and rural policy agendas contributing to RCN’s role as an effective voice for rural communities.

    Aidan is from Derrytresk in East Tyrone and grew up on a small farm. A one time builder’s labourer, farm labourer, welder’s mate and delivery van driver, he graduated from Queen's University with a BA in Economic and Social History. He then continued his studies at NUI Maynooth where he undertook the Higher Diploma in Community Development. Aidan was previously employed as a community development worker with Lenadoon Community Forum in Belfast.


    • Charmain Jones - CDO (Cohesion, Sharing and Integration)

    Charmain Jones joined RCN in December 2010 as the Community Development Officer for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration. Charmain’s role involves co-ordinating, designing, implementing and disseminating rural community development support initiatives to address social need, social exclusion, social cohesion and community capacity in rural communities at a regional level    She has varied experience in the voluntary sector since 2000, in a paid and voluntary capacity, very much at a grass roots level, as Project Co-ordinator for the PLACE Initiatives, Youth Leader in Charge of Goal Line Youth Centre, Community Development Officer for Carleton Street Community Development Association and more recently as Co-ordinator for REACT in Armagh City.
    She is a graduate from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown with a BA (Hons) Degree in Business Studies and a Masters Degree in Marketing Management. She also has a Diploma in Conflict Management and Politics from Queen’s University and has recently qualified from Queen’s University with a Certificate in Management Practice. She has undertaken other pieces of training and certified courses in History and Culture, Community Capacity Building, Good Relations, Civic Leadership and Community Leadership.

    • Conor McGale - Membership & Skills Officer

    Conor McGale joined RCN in July 2016 as Membership Support and Skills Development Officer. He is responsible for the promotion and delivery of learning, sharing and development of rural community development skills and practice, as well as supporting the RCN membership in developing good governance, fundraising skills and supporting groups to build their capacity to undertake rural community development activity.

    Conor has over 20 years’ experience working in the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. This has included managing a local welfare rights centre, project management of a large community facility capital build project, co-ordinating of a cross border training programme, and the delivery of a multimedia oral history project based on the border and in rural areas of NI. He has extensive  experience in fundraising, project management, staff/volunteer management, project evaluations, strategic & business planning, and group facilitation. Conor graduated from the University of Ulster with a BSc Hons in Occupational Psychology and has achieved the Diploma in Community Development Practice, PRINCE 2 Project Management Qualification, ILM, Level 5 in Management and a Diploma in Digital Marketing.

    • Teresa McKernan - Administrator

    Teresa joined Rural Community Network in June 1999 coming from a position within the NI Rural Development Council. Prior to this, she worked for LEDU. Within RCN she has worked as Administrator for the Mediation Programme, Policy and Research Programme and the Community Relations/Mediation Programme. Teresa is Administrator to the Chief Executive Officer, has responsibility for the CRM database and also supports both the Voice and the Shared Future sub-committees. She also has the delightful task of administration for the AGM.

    Teresa has Stage 3 Typing and Word Processing, a Certificate in ECDL (Advanced) and has also completed Deaf Awareness training. Teresa sits on the Board of Governors of St Joseph’s Primary School, Killeenan and is a member of the Dungannon/Armagh Autism NI Group.