Queen's University Belfast has announced the appointment of leading Irish-American businessman and noted humanitarian Thomas J. Moran as its new Chancellor.

A native New Yorker with ancestral roots in Fermanagh and Cavan, Tom Moran is listed as one of the top 100 Irish-American business people in the USA by Irish America agazine. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company since October 1994, the first person to have been appointed President from within the Company.

He is also Chairman of Concern Worldwide (US), Inc., an international humanitarian relief organisation that operates in 30 of the poorest countries of the world. He has contributed to several humanitarian and community causes, including acting as one of a group of unofficial peace envoys to Northern Ireland throughout the 1990s.

Rotha Johnston, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Senate, the University’s governing body, said: “I am delighted that Queen’s has chosen Tom Moran to be its new Chancellor. Tom is recognized for his steadfast commitment to helping others and for his charitable, philanthropic and educational work. He joins Queen’s at an exciting time in its development and we very much look forward to the important contribution of our new Chancellor.”

Accepting the position, Moran said: “It is a great honor to accept the role of Chancellor of this fine institution. Queen’s is known around the world as an innovative, dynamic and exceptional University that helps change lives for the better. I hope, during my time as Chancellor, that I can make a positive contribution to the University’s continued success and to increase further its global impact on society.”

Moran will serve as the University’s new Chancellor for a period of five years, with effect from May 1, 2015.

He graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics. In 2006, Queen’s University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science (Economics) for services to business, commerce and to public service. He and his wife Joan currently reside in New York City.

The Chancellor fulfills three main roles – a ceremonial one which involves presiding at degree congregations; an ambassadorial role, where the office holder helps to “open doors” for the University as it seeks to fulfil its mission; and finally as an advisor, available to the Vice-Chancellor and senior management as a “sounding board” and to provide counsel and guidance.