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Director of the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place, University of Liverpool

Mark is a trained human geographer (BSc Geography first class hons from the University of Glasgow in 1988 and PhD in Geography University of Edinburgh 1992). He worked from 2003 to 2007 at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Geography and from 2007 as Professor/Chair of Geography at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

From 2007 to 2012, Mark served as head of the large and lively Department of Geography at Maynooth and from 2013 to 2016 as Director of the Interdisciplinary National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analyses (NIRSA) at Maynooth. He has served as a Leverhulme Research Fellow and as an Isaac Manasseh Meyer Visiting Fellow (IMMF) at the National University of Singapore.

He has authored two books, edited seven special editions/sections of international peer reviewed journals and published over 70 scholarly papers and reports (including 40 in international peer reviewed journals).

Since 2015, Mark has served as the National Contact Point for Ireland for the Urbact III programme. Funded by ERDF, URBACT’s mission is to enable cities to work together and develop integrated solutions to common urban challenges, by networking, learning from one another’s experiences, drawing lessons and identifying good practices to improve urban policies.

Mark moved with his family to the big city of Liverpool from the tiny village of Straffan in County Kildare in Ireland. Born and bred in Glasgow, Mark sees similarities between Liverpool’s deindustrialisation and regeneration and subsequent experience of the crash from 2007 and the devastating impacts of austerity.

He is acutely sensitive to the impact of the geographical concentration of economic activity (be it Dublin or London) on other cities and Brexit geographies, not least Brexit’s differential impacts on different regions and cities.


  • –present
    Director, National Institute of Regional and Spatial Analyses, and Professor of Human Geography, National University of Ireland Maynooth