social media icons, twitter icon 

Our Team

Nichola Hughes

Nichola Hughes is Director of Sustainable Northern Ireland. She currently manages the NI Sustainable Development Forum, a network of public sector officers working together to drive forward the sustainable development agenda in Northern Ireland.

Previously, Nichola was on the secretariat of the Climate Change Advisory Council, where she supported scientists and economists in providing advice to the Government on climate change policy in Ireland.

Prior to that, she managed the Mayor of London's domestic retrofit programme and her early career focussed on climate action and resilience planning within local government. Nichola has a MSc in Climate Change from the University of East Anglia.

Francesca Di Palo

Francesca Di Palo is the Sustainability Officer at Sustainable NI. She joined SNI in September 2021 and currently supports the Executive Director in managing the NI Sustainable Development Forum, a network of public sector officers working together to drive forward the sustainable development agenda in Northern Ireland.

Francesca worked for 3 years as Eco-Schools Project Officer at KNIB, coordinating international programmes like the Young Reporters for the Environment. She collaborated with the Foundation for Environmental Education to grow the understanding of SDGs among young people and communities in NI and worldwide through the Education for Sustainable Development network (ESD).

Previously she worked as Biodiversity Officer for Ulster Wildlife implementing the AES UK&Ireland Biodiversity Action Plan. Her background in Ecosystem Functioning and Services comes from conservation work taken up for the charity sector and from completing a PhD in Plant and Soil Ecology at the Ulster University.