Deirdre Ward

Director of Work and Wellbeing, Department for Communities

Deirdre was appointed the Director of Work and Wellbeing in September 2018 with responsibility for Employability and Disability and Work policy and delivery of labour market interventions.

Deirdre was appointed Deputy Director of Housing in Housing Division in DSD in April 2012. Deirdre had responsibility for the Supporting People budget, Fuel Poverty and Homelessness. Deirdre was Business Development Director of Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland® since March 2007. In this position she was responsible for the strategic direction for all sales, marketing and product activity.

Between 2002 and 2007, Deirdre was a Business Development Manager for Invest Northern Ireland, responsible for the implementation of an Accelerated Entrepreneurship Strategy. This involved researching best practise worldwide in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, organisational training needs analysis, benchmarking best practise, project management and assisting consultants in the development of performance measures and indicators for the Global Start team.

Prior to this role, Deirdre was located in America working for Invest Northern Ireland for 3 years. She was tasked with selling Northern Ireland to American Companies so that they would relocate here and benefit our economy. To do this, Deirdre identified and targeted potential inward investment companies in key industrial sectors, built relationships and influenced key decision makers.

An employee of the Civil Service since 1993, Deirdre has had various other roles including; Scientific Officer, Analytical Chemist and Business Consultant.

Originally from a scientific background, Deirdre has since completed a Masters in Business Administration and numerous development courses involving selling, project management, process mapping and benchmarking and a Diploma in Personnel Management.

Judge in the Skills & Education Award category of the Responsible Business Awards. Find out more at