The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland has appointed Allan Leonard to act as General Secretary, while Stephen Farry undertakes a temporary post at the United States Institute of Peace.
Commenting upon his new post, Allan Leonard said:
“This is an exciting new challenge for me. I welcome the opportunity to broaden my political skills beyond policy making. This is a particularly interesting time to take up this post, with the prospect of new political negotiations in the near future, and the possibility of an Assembly election around the corner.
“I will do my utmost to maintain and expand the growth of the Alliance Party, as all our Assembly representatives were re-elected and we increased our number of local councillors this year. I will ensure that Alliance is known for the hard work it does on the ground, for the everyone in the community, and for the leadership to progress Northern Ireland forward to a better future for all.”
Originally from the US, Allan Leonard has lived in Northern Ireland since 1994. He received a Master’s degree from University College, Dublin, in 2000; his thesis was “The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and Power Sharing in a Divided Society”. Mr Leonard also has considerable experience in the private sector, including international banking as well as marketing. He married Beverley last December, and has become an Irish citizen. In the May 2005 elections to local government, he stood for Alliance in the Belfast DEA, Laganbank.
Stephen Farry has been appointed as a Senior Research Fellow with the United States Institute of Peace. He will be conducting a project, “Inside Out: An Integrative Critique of the Northern Ireland Peace Process”. He will continue as a North Down Councillor, and will put in place arrangements to deal with constituency work, and to remain informed of local issues and debates.