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Research & Policy Director, HelpUsTrade

Prof. Dermot Cahill

HelpUsTrade's Director

Leader in Project Design & Transforming Organisational Culture

Professor Dermot Cahill has over 25 years of experience in national and international project leadership, with a focus on helping governments and organisations transform their thinking and operations. His work ensures that public mission, values, and functions are aligned, creating organisations that serve both government and citizens effectively.

Dermot has been recognised as a trusted project leader by many international institutions, including the European Commission, the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the African Development Bank. A lawyer by background, Dermot brings rigour, understanding, and an internationalist vision to every project, engaging closely with clients to bring out the best in them.

Qualifications & Awards

Dermot’s Credentials

Qualifications: Dermot is a graduate of:

  • The National University of Ireland
  • The Law Society
  • The College of Europe, Belgium

Awards: The work of teams lead by Dermot has been recognised both nationally and internationally, whether by:

  • Industry (Best International Project, CIPS 2013, London).
  • International Expert Groups (Co-Recipient, Robertson-Horsington Prize for Transnational Education Excellence, British-Franco Juristes Association Paris, 2017).
  • Academia: Invited Visiting Professor in leading Universities in China (2008-2019), USA (1997, 2003, 2008, 2022); France (2000-2010), Malaysia (2016) and Australia (2013-2015).
  • Dermot’s expertise is also recognised by academia and professional bodies where he has served as External Examiner in over 10 Irish and UK Universities / Professional Bodies since 1996.
Career

Career Highlights

Dermot’s combination of professional expertise, leadership skills, and personal values makes him a highly sought-after advisor and expert consultant. A driving force behind HelpUsTrade’s success, helping businesses and organisations achieve their goals while making a positive contribution to society. Here are some additional highlights from Dermot’s career over the last 20 years:

  • 2007 – to date: Director, HelpUsTrade Ltd:
    • 2022 to date: Lead Firm & Expert Consultant, European Investment Bank (EIB):
      • Assisting the Ministry of Education Health in Serbia to roll out a digital connection programme across the State’s school system by providing oversight of the Promoter’s Procurement Processes and Decision-Making.
    • 2022 to date: Lead Firm & Expert Consultant, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Assisting Barbados Immigration Service by:
      • Evaluating its Capacity in order to enhance Service productivity
      • Designing a bespoke Competency Framework to advance workforce professionalisation
    • 2021 to date: Lead Firm & Expert Consultant, European Investment Bank (EIB):
      • Assisting the Ministries of Health in Rwanda and The Maldives to build modern COVID Laboratories to BSL-3 International Standard by:
      • Providing Oversight of Promoter Procurement Processes and Decision-Making
    • 2023: Lead Firm & Expert Consultant, Africa Development Bank (ADB), assisting the Public Procurement Policy Unit of the Namibia Ministry of Finance by:
      • Designing a Modern Bespoke Curriculum for the National Procurement Workforce
      • Training the Trainers to Deliver the New Curriculum in Governance & Transparency
    • 2019 to 2021: Lead Firm & Expert Consultant, World Bank, assisting the National Procurement Authority, Afghanistan by:
      • Designing a Modern Bespoke Curriculum for the National Procurement Workforce
      • Designing a Modern Monitoring & Evaluation Mechanism 
      • Assisting the National Procurement Institute to establish International Standard Examination Processes and Learning Resources.
  • 2010 – 2019 Chairman, Institute for Competition & Procurement Studies, Bangor University:
    • Awarded over 5m Euros in EU Commission ERDF Grant Funding, leading or co-leading over 10 major transnational projects, involving between 2-6 countries at a time to identify barriers to cross border procurement (Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy). Examples: 
      1. 2016-2018: Co-Principal Investigator, COSME, EU Commission, PPACT
      2. 2013-2015: Co-Principal Investigator, ERDF, EU Commission, TESLA 
      3. 2010-2015: Principal Investigator, ERDF, EU Commission, Winning in Tendering,
      4. 2016-2023: Principal Investigator, ESRC Impact Acceleration Research. Awarded 4 ESRC Impact Acceleration Grants to fund Project Impact Efforts.
      5. 2008-2009: Principal Investigator, Welsh Government, Barriers to Procurement Opportunity. This Report led to extensive progressive changes to Welsh Government Procurement Practices. Described by CBI as “one of best pieces of evidence-based research in years”.
      6. 2004-2007: Principal Investigator, ERDF, EU Commission TenderWise Project – Identified barriers to SME winning more public sector business in Ireland & Wales
Style

Leadership Style

Dermot’s leadership style is non-hierarchical and collaborative. He has over 20 years experience of assembling multi-disciplinary expert teams. Many of his associates have worked with him almost continuously during that time, showing that he commands loyalty and respect from his collaborators, as well as being a reliable and enjoyable person to work with.  He seeks to make best use of all available resources in order to get the best result for the client.

Dermot is an excellent communicator. Feedback on his advocacy and presentation to and on behalf of clients regularly praises his clarity of expression and ability to connect with entire audiences, whether in meetings, one-to-ones, or before mass audiences.

Early markers of this particular skill became evident in his University days where Dermot won several prestigious Debating Competitions:

  • 1987 Winner, Kingsmill Moore Trophy, Trinity Historical Society, Trinity College (with E.Clifford)

  • 1990 Winner, Coyle Hamiliton Trophy, Law Society (with J.Kelly)

Record

Track Record

Dermot’s expertise has been recognised in many fora, including:

  1. Government: where he has been invited to serve on Government Committees and Task Forces for the Welsh and UK Governments
  2. Major Political Parties: where he has been consulted by all major UK political parties, who view him as an independent impartial expert who offers expert advice and candid forward-assessment on issues of the day or strategic issues.
  3. Expert Inquires: where he has served on a House of Commons Parliamentary Inquiry as an Expert Member helping the House look into the UK’s Readiness to adopt E-Invoicing standards
  4. Law Reform Organisations: for many years Dermot served on the Law Commission’s Wales Advisory Committee, making a contribution to the work programme of the Law Commission of England & Wales.
  5. Specialist International Discipline Groups: Dermot was invited to serve as General Editor of the International Federation of European Law Associations 2004 Europe-wide Surveys in Antitrust Modernisation, Police and Judicial Co-Operation and Asylum & Migration 
  6. National Discipline Groups: Dermot served as Chair of the Irish Society of European Law between 2004 and 2006, and was Editor of the The Irish Journal of European Law between 2004 and 2009, reviving the Journal from its semi-moribund state at the time.
  7. Academia: Dermot has held two University Chairs between 2007-2019 prior to full-time consultancy, in the fields of European Internal Market Law/Public Procurement and Commercial Law. An expert in several subject areas, Dermot books are published by leading global publishers Cambridge and Oxford University Presses (Corporate Finance Law & European Law). His learned articles, which he continues to publish, are in the fields of Competitiveness and Public Procurement and are published by leading global peer-reviewed journals, such as Oxford Journal of Antitrust Enforcement, World Competition, European Public Law and the American Bar Association’s Public Contract Law Journal, amongst others. Doctoral students supervised by Dermot now lecture in some of the world leading Universities in UK, China, Europe and further afield.
Leadership Values

Dermot’s Operational Values

Dermot’s operational values can be summarised as follows:

Strategic

Make well-considered decisions to achieve long-term goals and objectives.

Integrity

Act ethically and with honesty in all interactions, building trust.

Rigour

Be thorough, accurate, and detail-oriented in your work to ensure quality.

Adaptability

Be flexible and able to adjust to change, proactively finding solutions.

Collaborative

Work effectively together to achieve common goals, valuing open communication and teamwork.

Help People To Do Better

Foster a culture of learning and continuous improvement, by supporting and empowering colleagues.

Biography

Leader in Project Design, Methodology and Transforming Institutional Thinking

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