Prof. Kevin Rafter was appointed Chair of the Arts
Council in June 2019. He is Full Professor of Political Communication at Dublin
City University where he has been Head of the School of Communications and
Associate Dean for Research. He has published extensively on Irish politics
including recent books Taoisigh and the Arts (2022) and Resilient Reporting: Media
Coverage of Irish Elections since 1969 (2020).
During Prof. Rafter's term as
Arts Council Chair, the organisation’s budget increased from €75m to €134m.
Much of his term as Chair was devoted to working with Council colleagues and
staff to help steer the arts sector through the Covid-19 crisis. Among other
initiatives since 2019, the Council established a new all-island dance company
and commenced work on a major artist workspace development in partnership with
Dublin Port as well as publishing several new policy documents including
Championing Architecture (2022) and Pay the Artist (2020), which established
new criteria for ensuring artists are paid fairly for their work.
Prof. Rafter previously
served as Chair of Culture Ireland and was a board member of the Galway
International Arts Festival, Oxfam Ireland and Dublin Bus. He has also been
involved in regulation in the broadcast, financial and legal sectors. Prior to
2008, he worked as a political journalist holding senior positions with RTÉ
News, the Irish Times, Sunday Times and Sunday Tribune as well as being editor
of Magill magazine. He worked at the National Firm School IADT, Dun Laoghaire
as Head of the School of Film & Media before joining DCU in 2010.