Shona McCarthy is Director of Shona McCarthy Consulting and is a recipient of a prestigious Eisnehower Fellowship for Innovation 2014. She spent the last three years as Chief Executive of the Culture Company, the company set up to lead Derry~Londonderry’s UK City of Culture year, creating and delivering a world class cultural programme for 2013 and raising and managing in excess of a £20million budget to see the project delivered to its full potential. Prior to taking up the leadership role on City of Culture, Shona was Director of the British Council Northern Ireland leading a team of 40 to oversee international programmes of work across schools, arts and Further and Higher Education to build positive international cultural relations. The British Council has 110 offices across the world.
Between 2002 and 2008 she was the Director of her own company Rubyblue Consultancy, specialising in cultural collaborations. Prior to this she was Chief Executive of Imagine Belfast 2008 leading on a cultural strategy for the city and producing the Belfast bid to be European Capital of Culture 2008.
Shona also spent six years as Chief Executive of Cinemagic, Northern Ireland’s International Film Festival for young people; Director of the Foyle Film Festival 1996-99; and Head of Exhibition at the Northern Ireland Film Council.
In 2007 she was the only Northern Ireland recipient of a prestigious NESTA cultural leadership award which took her to the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in Calcutta, India. She lived and worked in India for 6 months.