Following the reduction of government departments and the opening for consultation on the Programme for Government, the Executive roles have now been filled.
The Executive Office
First Minister: Arlene Foster
Junior Minister: Alastair Ross
Now in his second term as MLA for East Antrim, Ross previously served as Assembly private secretary for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment until 2014, when he was appointed as chair of the Justice Committee.
Deputy First Minister: Martin McGuinness
Junior Minister: Megan Fearon
In 2012 Fearon’s selection to the Assembly made her the youngest public representative in Ireland. She has sat on a range of committees including the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister; Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Finance and Personnel Committee.
Department of Education (DE): Peter Weir
A barrister by profession, Weir was originally elected as an Ulster Unionist back in 1998 before he defected to the DUP, following a spell as an Independent, and was re-elected as an MLA for North Down in 2003. Previously he chaired the Audit Committee and last year he chaired the Committee for Education. He also chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on the draft Criminal Damage (Compensation) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 20.
Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA): Michelle McIlveen
A minister for the Department for Regional Development in the previous Executive, McIlveen has also served as a junior minister to the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. Within the Assembly, the former councillor on Ards Borough Council has chaired both the Education Committee and the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure.
Department for the Economy (DfE): Simon Hamilton
Previously a minister for both Health and Finance and Personnel, Hamilton was elected to the Assembly in 2007 as an MLA for Strangford. In previous Assembly roles he has chaired the Committee for Social Development and acted as his party’s Assembly private secretary in the Department of Finance and Personnel, amongst others.
Department for Infrastructure (DfI): Chris Hazzard
Co-opted to the Assembly to replace Willie Clarke as an MLA for South Down, Hazzard is one of the youngest MLAs in Northern Ireland. He built up a profile as the party’s Education spokesperson working closely with John O’Dowd. He has served on a range of committees within the Assembly including Justice, Public Accounts and most recently on the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister.
Department of Health (DoH): Michelle O’Neill
O’Neill has moved to Health having served as minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in the last Executive. She was elected to the Assembly in 2007 for the Mid-Ulster Constituency. Previously she has served as deputy chair on the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety and as a member of the Education Committee.
Department of Justice (DOJ): Claire Sugden
Independent Unionist Claire Sugden replaced David McClarty as an MLA for East Londonderry following his death, having previously worked as his campaign manager and parliamentary assistant. She was offered the Justice ministry after the Alliance Party refused the role. She has served as member of the Committee for Employment and Learning.
Department of Finance (DoF): Máirtín Ó Muilleoir
A former Lord Mayor of Belfast, South Belfast MLA Ó Muilleoir served on Belfast City Council for a decade from 1987 before leaving to develop Belfast Media Group and the Irish Echo. Re-entering Council, he took up the reigns as Lord Mayor in 2013-2014 before being co-opted into the Assembly in 2014. Last year he sat on the concurrent Committee of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development, Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Committee for Finance and Personnel.
Department for Communities (DfC): Paul Givan
First co-opted to replace Jeffrey Donaldson in 2010 for the Lagan Valley constituency, Givan was previously the youngest councillor to be elected to Lisburn City Council in 2005. Since then he has chaired the Justice committee, as well as the concurrent Committee of the Committee for Justice and the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. He chaired the concurrent Committee of the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Committee for Justice in 2014 and last year served as chair of the Committee on Standards and Privileges.