Meath woman Niamh Lenehan is the CEO-designate of the new Agri-Food Regulator (An Rialálaí Agraibhia), Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue announced on Monday.

Lenehan will head up the independent statutory regulator’s office once it is formally established with the passing of the agricultural and food supply chain bill.

The office will have two primary functions: reporting on markets and enforcing regulations around the treatment of those operating in the agri-food supply chain.

Until it is established, she will lead the unfair trading practices enforcement authority set up last year to ensure agri-food sector firms comply with EU rules on commercial fairness.

Lenehan previously worked in the education and the personal insolvency sectors, with her most recent professional role being with the Insolvency Service of Ireland.

She has held management roles with Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI).

Lenehan’s own qualifications include an agricultural science degree from UCD, a doctoral degree in education from Maynooth University and a master’s degree from Kansas State University in the US.

Minister McConalogue welcomed the appointment and wished Lenehan well in her new role.

“I am delighted to announce that Niamh Lenehan will be the CEO-designate of An Rialálaí Agraibhia,” Minister McConalogue said.

“In Niamh, I believe we have found a tremendous professional who brings all the skills and experience to be a success as first CEO of the soon-to-be established Agri Food Regulator office.

“This is a really important role and it will be a very influential part of our entire agri-food sector in the coming years.

“Niamh has strong agriculture and farming links as well as being a success in regulatory and policy roles in her career.”