Presidents Biography

image of ciaran

Prof. Ciarán Ó Catháin is President of Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), a role he has held since 2000. A graduate of Dublin Institute of Technology; Trinity College, Dublin and the University of Ulster, Prof. Ó Catháin holds a doctorate in management from the University of Ulster.

Currently Chairman of Institutes of Technology Ireland, Prof. Ó Catháin previously served as Chair of the Council of Directors of the Institutes of Technology in 2002. He has also held a number of leadership roles with the European Hotel and Tourism Schools Association (President 1994-1997 and Vice-President 1997-2000). In addition, he was convener (2007-2009) for Líonra, the network of higher education institutions in the Border, Midlands and Western (BMW) region of Ireland.

Prior to his appointment in AIT, Prof. Ó Catháin was Director of the Northern Ireland Hotel and Catering College, and was previously employed with the Schiller University in Strasburg as Residential and Finance Director. As well as being a Fellow of the Irish Hotel and Catering Institute (IHCI), he is a Fellow of Hotel and Catering International Management Association (HCIMA). A former council member of the IHCI, Prof. Ó Catháin was a founder member of Hospitality Ireland.

Committed to the value of regional development, Prof. Ó Catháin has championed the commercial, industrial, social and cultural development of the Midlands. He was Midlands Gateway Ambassador 2012, and served as President of the Midlands Gateway Chamber for the towns of Athlone, Tullamore and Mullingar in 2008-2009. As Chair and Co-patron of the Commission for Justice and Social Affairs in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, he has guided initiatives on interculturalism and fair trade.

In addition, Prof. Ó Catháin is a visiting professor at the Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, an honourary professor at Beijing Union University and at Beijing Information Science and Technology University, as well as being a member of the academic committee at the latter institution. In addition, Prof. Ó Catháin is an academic advisor to the Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

Passionate about athletics, Prof. Ó Catháin is President of Athletics Ireland, the national governing body for athletics in Ireland, having previously served as Vice-President and Chair of its Finance and Risk Committee. He is also an executive board member of the Olympic Council of Ireland.