Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has appointed former senator Jillian van Turnhout to assess the implementation of Scouting Ireland’s governance reforms.

Ms Zappone informed the Dáil that “I have asked Jillian van Turnhout as an independent expert to examine this situation over the coming weeks”.

She said: “In accordance with her terms of reference she is being asked to provide me with a clear assessment of the adequacy of Scouting Ireland’s governance arrangements and to advise me on whether I can be assured about scouting Ireland governance and related matters.”

Ms van Turnhout, a former chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance and former chief commissioner of Irish Girl Guides, was appointed in the last few days, the Minister said.

She will work with the Minister to ensure the pledged reforms by Scouting Ireland of their governance process “are in the best interests” of the organisation.

(The Irish Times, 1 May 2018)

Jillian is currently on three boards and provides facilitation and training to boards on governance, strategic planning and evaluation.


I am helping organisations in three areas: Corporate Governance, Executive Hiring, and Advocacy. Click on the relevant picture below to learn more about that service. Underneath this I will tell more about myself, about my term as Senator in the Irish Parliament and about my global network of contacts and awards I have won. Finally, at the bottom of this page you will find my Blog.



I have almost 30 years experience in working for commercial and non-commercial (NGO) organisations, as well as serving a term as an independent senator in the Irish parliament. In various appointments – culminating in a position as a Chief Executive – I have gathered all-round management knowledge. To this I can add over a decade as a member the Economic and Social Council of the European Union, of which I have been a Vice-President. I have also served many organisations in a voluntary capacity, such as Chief Commissioner of the Irish Girl Guides, a membership organisation with over 10,000 members. Last but not least, I have been and still am a member, vice-chair or chair in several boards.

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From 2011 to 2016 I was an independent Senator in the Irish parliament. I influenced and initiated legislation, participated in successful campaigns, was named “Senator of the Year” by Miriam Lord (writer and columnist with The Irish Times) and was awarded TV3’s Tonight Show “Politician of the Year”.

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Thanks to my work in Europe, the NGO sector and as a legislator I have been able to build an extensive, global network of contacts. In recognition of my work I have received many awards.  I have led many organisations and campaigns and supported various good causes. This gallery gives you a flavour of this.

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Governance Workshop

I was honoured to train the Board of Aidlink Ireland. It is great to see the passion, diligence and rigour it brings to its work. And very happy with the feedback on Twitter: “Many thanks to @JillianvT and @CarmichaelCntr for … Continue reading

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Jillian van Turnhout receives INSEAD Certificate in Corporate Governance

I recently completed my INSEAD International Directors Programme and was honoured to receive my Certificate. This further strengthens my Corporate Governance experience, enabling me to serve companies as an effective member of their supervisory boards or help them review their governance … Continue reading

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Jillian van Turnhout, Candidate, WAGGGS World Board

Follow the links to view the letter of support by the Council of Irish Guiding Associations of Jillian van Turnhout‘s candidacy for the World Board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) Arabic – عربى  English: … Continue reading

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