Brian Kennedy

Department of Agriculture / Civil Service

AO Economist

Brian Kennedy

I joined the Department of Agriculture as part of the IGEES graduate recruitment process in 2012 as an AO Economist. Prior to this I had completed a Masters in International Finance and a Degree in Commerce from NUI Galway.

I worked in the Economics and Planning Division of the Department up until June 2015 and my work here cut across a range of diverse issues. Some of my experiences within this division include:

  • Compiling the Departments Annual Review and Outlook, which provides an analysis of the structure and performance of the agri-food sector and quantifies the benefits of EU membership in terms of budget and trade.
  • Representing the Department at the OECD Working Party on Agricultural Policies and Markets in Paris and the Expert Group on Agricultural Commodity Derivatives and Spot Markets in Brussels.
  • Providing economic analysis on the post 2013 Common Agricultural Policy Negotiations.
  • Providing economic and financial analysis on risk management and price volatility at farm level and access to credit for SMEs.

Recently I joined the Rural Development Division which is responsible for managing the Rural Development Programme, a €4 billion fund that will help to underpin economic growth and development throughout rural Ireland. Working in this area will broaden my knowledge on agricultural policy and allow me to gain insight into another area of the departments work.

I have found staff at all levels to be accessible and encouraging and there is an expectation of new recruits to actively contribute and bring fresh ideas. I have had the opportunity to work in areas I was interested in and passionate about and have also availed of further education opportunities. I have regularly met with senior civil servants, industry leaders and politicians and have experienced first-hand how public policy is shaped.

I think the Civil Service is a rewarding and challenging place to work, with plenty of opportunities to develop new skills. I would encourage all potential graduates to apply.