Meet The Team

Damien McLoughlin is the Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Damien joined the MDP as Programme Director in 1999. He graduated from DCU with a bachelor’s degree in business studies, then went on to obtain a master’s degree in business studies from UCD and a PhD in marketing from Lancaster University. He has lectured in UCD and DCU, while previously serving as a visiting professor of marketing at both the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Damien has worked in the marketing industry for well over 20 years and has gained extensive knowledge in research, leadership and strategy. Over the years, he has published two books and over 70 papers on strategy and marketing issues, along with over 25 case studies relating to leadership and strategy issues in the food and agribusiness supply chain across the world. Between 2011 and 2014, he was a faculty member for the Harvard Business School’s agribusiness seminar, and he continues to contribute to this programme as a researcher. Moreover, he has collaborated with some of the world’s leading organisations, including Alltech, Allianz, Bord Bia, Dairygold, Kerry Group, Microsoft, Google, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa Group, and Hewlett-Packard to name but a few. Damien has sat on the Board of Directors for various Councils and Authorities, including the Health Information and Quality Authority, Medical Council Ireland, and currently sits on the board for Bord Iascaigh Mharagh – Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency.

Damien brings his extensive knowledge and experience within the marketing industry to the MDP and delivers highly engaging and interactive lectures through his module in Strategic Marketing Management. He ensures that he passes on his experience to advisors in the MDP and is a mentor of the highest quality, giving professional advice and suggestions to those that seek it.

Damien believes in giving each and every advisor an incredible educational experience in a way that is totally unique to the course through the action learning aspect of it. Both the personal and professional growth of advisors is highly important to him, ensuring that advisors are more than ready to enter the working world as business builders when their time in the MDP comes to an end.

“What businesses like to have these days are people who can contribute to their organisation and often these are people who come from a very wide background. I love to see people from all disciplines, whether it be business or not, join the MDP as a it brings diversity and creativity to our group, which is something I absolutely love experiencing over the course of the programme.”

Harriet joined the MDP as the Programme Manager in 2019 after having lectured at UCD in Strategic Marketing Management. After graduating from the University of Pietermaritzburg, Harriet went on to start travelling the world. It was during her travels that she discovered her love of marketing and returned to South Africa to complete her Masters in Strategic Marketing at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Harriet has worked in the marketing industry for 20+ years, where she has gained a wealth of experience in marketing strategy and planning, teamwork, building brands, growing business and driving innovation. All of these are invaluable skills which she brings to both the development of the advisor experience on the MDP and the successful overseeing of client projects. Having started her career in a small beverage company, she moved into marketing leading brands in the South African market at Robertsons (Pty) Ltd. (Unilever, SA). She furthered her experience in FMCG by moving to Coca-Cola, initially in South Africa and then to Coca-Cola Ireland. After that, Harriet continued her travels spending time in the UK, Italy and the USA running her own marketing and business consultancy. 

Since returning to Ireland, Harriet has continued her passion for marketing through her role as a lecturer and MDP Programme Manager, educating students about the vital role marketing plays in businesses and their growth. Harriet brings to the MDP her industry knowledge and experience in marketing strategy and the implementation of strategy through both online and offline marketing. This has allowed the MDP to develop and expand its portfolio of project offerings. Working closely with the advisor project teams, Harriet and Elaine ensure that both the client and the advisors achieve their objectives in having come to the MDP – from research, through to developing marketing strategy, marketing plans, digital strategies and/or event planning.

The professional growth and development of the advisors is of the utmost importance within the overall experience of the MDP. Harriet believes through the unique action-learning and reflective practice based MDP masters, advisors are given the opportunity to grow and develop to become the professional marketing talent that will drive future business growth.

“Hearing advisors talk about the life-changing impact of the MDP, the space that it has given them to grow and realise their strengths, the life-long friendships and connections they have formed and the unforgettable experience they have had, is why I love working with the MDP.”

Elaine has been a lecturer in market research and part of the management team on the MDP for the past 17 years, although her involvement with the programme goes back much further than that. After graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce from UCD, Elaine was a student on the Marketing Development Programme in its early years, which gives her a unique perspective on what it is like to be a “Marketing Advisor”.

After completing the MDP, Elaine worked for a short time in a marketing role with Kraft Foods and then moved into the field of market research. Elaine quickly progressed to being appointed a Director of Lansdowne Market Research, which at the time was Ireland’s leading ad hoc market research agency, where she gained 16 years experience of working in market research. This involved the design, implementation, and management of a wide range of research projects, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative research, along with the client service management required for all projects. One of Elaine’s other main areas of interest and responsibility was that of in-house researcher training and development, which was hugely beneficial for the role she now plays within the MDP.

As most of the projects undertaken by the advisors on the MDP require insight derived from both primary and secondary research, Elaine delivers a research and insights module at the start of the programme, to equip students with the research skills they will need to generate these insights. This is an action learning based module, working on a live project, designed to provide an understanding of all elements of the research process. Elaine is also the Research Consultant to the MDP, overseeing both the research element of projects and working with the Programme Manager and the advisors on the delivery of all projects.

Probably what Elaine enjoys most about her involvement with the MDP is seeing how students develop over the course of the programme, both personally and professionally. 

“Playing a part in a programme that produces graduates who are work ready, and can “hit the ground running” on day one in a job is extremely satisfying, and is why I love working with the MDP”.