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The Akari Team

Akari Software Limited has a team of highly experienced professionals in Higher Education, Software Development and Project Management and Support.

Below you will find profiles of some of the team that is behind Akari.

Executive Chairman: Eoghan O'Leary


Eoghan has over 20 years experience of either working in or for Higher Education Institutions in Ireland and Europe. He has taught at both second and third level in Ireland. He has been a member in the Irish Department of Education of the Commission on School Accommodation Needs, and chaired a national body on school patronage. He has also managed and worked on numerous European Commission funded multinational projects involving education institutions at third level. He has worked in the private sector in both small companies and in multinational subsidiaries. His business background is in technology but also also served as an advisor to both private and public companies.

He is a director of the Irish Software Testing Board and has represented that body on the International Testing Qualifications Board. He is also a director of Akari Software Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd based in Shah Alam Malayia. He is a graduate of University College Cork and Dublin Institute of Technology, and a Certified Management Consultant.


Director of Product: Paraic Hegarty


Paraic has 22 years experience in delivering large-scale information technology projects in the public and private sectors. Paraic has been with Akari since mid 2010 and is now responsible for planning and managing our product development efforts.

He holds an honours degree in computer science from Trinity College and a Post Graduate Diploma in Technology Commercialisation from NUI Galway. Paraic is a Certified Management Consultant, Fellow and Past President of the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisers, a former Director of the Global PMI Consulting SIG, a member of the Information Systems Auditing and Control Association, the Institute of Directors and Engineers Ireland.

He has over 28 years experience in Software Development (Expert Edge, Deloitte Consulting) and is a former Technology Partner with Deloitte Consulting.

Chief Executive Officer: John O'Donnell


John joined Akari Software in January 2018 and is the Chief Executive Officer. He is based between headquarters in Cork and in the Sydney office of Akari Software. He is an experienced senior executive in the software business with particular reference to the HE market. 

Early career years developing engineering computational models, which lead to a period developing reconciliation models for the banking sector in the City of London. He moved to Australia in 1989 and started in a business development role with financial management and supply chain software for a UK software company. Progressed to sales management and general management, and in 1998 moved to the US to run the West Coast division.

Joined Blackbaud (leading provider of software and services to the non-profit sector) as Managing Director in 2005 to run the Aus-NZ business from Sydney. In 2011, Blackbaud acquired Everydayhero (online solutions for consumer fundraising ) and he stepped into the leadership role there. He left Everydayhero in early 2017 to pursue some new directions.

He is passionate about the use of technology as a disruptor, combined with data insights and best practice to optimise outcomes, and leveraging the role of good design to ensure high usability and adoption rates for consumers from Millennials to Baby Boomers. John is a former board member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia and has also served on the Institute’s Finance & Audit Committee.

Group CFO: Helen Nason


Helen Nason joined Akari as Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. In this position Helen is responsible for the overall financial strategy and direction at Akari.  Within finance she guides the accounting, treasury, shareholder relations, tax and audit functions to pursue the company’s aggressive growth strategy and meet its clients’ and owners’ expectations. 

Prior to joining Akari, Helen held senior roles in multiple international entities in the technology and services fields.  Throughout her career in accounting and operations management, she has developed expertise in accounting systems development, fiscal management, financial reporting and internal control mechanisms. She has a proven record of developing and implementing financial and operational controls that improve Profit & Loss accounts. Helen holds a BSc in Finance and Postgraduate Diploma in Business Economics from University College Cork and is a Chartered Management Accountant.

Director of Customer Success: Paul Hederman


Paul is responsible for customer support and client management activities in Ireland and the UK market, and for supporting the distribution chain globally and works from the Dublin office of Akari Software.

With over fifteen years of management, lecturing and consultancy experience, Paul is experienced in working with all levels of management in both private and public sector organisations. His most recent experience is working with the Higher Education Sector in both Institute of Technology Carlow and National College of Ireland. While in NCI he was responsible for the development and delivery of management programmes delivered publically and tailored programmes delivered to private organisations.

Prior to joining NCI, Paul worked for the National Institute of Transport and Logistics (Dublin Institute of Technology) as Director of Business Development. While with the Irish Trade Board (now Enterprise Ireland) he worked exclusively on a assisting SMEs access the European Public Sector Market. 

He holds an MA in Economics from University College Cork, a diploma in Strategic Management from the Irish Management Institute. 

Regional Director Middle East : Tariq Adel


Tariq Adel Al Ammadi is the Regional Director for Akari for the Middle East. Tariq has over 10 years experience architecting and delivering software solutions for the education, marketing and business intelligence sectors. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Applications (CS/Engineering, 1st. Hons) and an M.Sc. in Security and Forensics Computing both from Dublin City University. In education he has previously led development efforts for Intel's Teach Essentials Online and Teach Advanced Online programs based on Moodle.

Tariq is currently located in the Middle East but continues to lead software teams in Bahrain, Ireland and the United States.


CEO South East Asia: Rahidzab Talib


Based in the Akari offices in Shah Alam, Selangor Malyasia, Rahidzab is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the Akari business in South East Asia. Professor Rahidzab was formerly the director of Infotech, the department responsible for managing the computer and software infrastructure of Malaysia's largest University with over 30 campus locations.  

He is a graduate of Emporia State University, Kansa, USA, in Mathematics and Computer Science and has lectured and researched in this area for many years.


CTO South East Asia: Dr. Ariza Nordin


Dr. Ariza Nordin is based in the Akari offices in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. She is responsible for the development team based there and for managing the technical and academic requirements of clients in the region. An experienced computer scientist, academic manager, lecturer and systems integrator, Ariza brings significant value to clients of Akari Software in terms of her knowledge, background, skills and experience.

Ariza's Ph.D. is in the area of Knowledge Engineering.


Director of Software and Services: Kabir Ahmed

Kabir joined Akari in 2016 and is responsible for both the software development and implementation teams in Akari along with linking with the sales and support teams to give clients an integrated experience.

He has many years experience in software development and team management in a number of multi national companies. Among these were IBM and Sun Life Financial.

Kabir holds a  Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from UMT and a Master's Degree in Computing and Communications Software from Waterford Institute of Technology.


Senior Developer: Donal Mulcahy

Donal has been working with Akari products since 2009 and leads our development team. He is responsible for the design and implementation of all product releases and is currently focused on the development of our Academic Quality System.

He has over twenty years experience in analysis, design and programming . He previously worked with Dell and Sun Life.

Donal holds a B.Sc. in Information Systems from LIT.


Senior Developer: David Waterston

David joined Akari in February 2012 and has over 15 years experience in the planning, management and development of large scale, relational database driven, web applications.He has worked on all aspects of the development process from interviewing potential team members, gathering user requirements, building the development environment and developer training through to documentation and end user training.

David holds a HND in Business Studies with Distinction in Information Systems.


Developer: Ken Farrell

Ken joined Akari in March 2011 having worked both in private industry and in Higher Education. He has over ten years experience in software support, analysis and development.

Ken holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Applications from Dublin City University.



Implementation Consultant: Dara Lacey


Dara joined Akari in May 2012 and was responsible for marketing and PR for Akari Software up to June 2013.  With the expansion of Akari Software, she transitioned to providing education consultancy and implementation services to global markets, serving Europe, South East Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. 

Dara holds a BA in History and Psychology from University College Cork, an MBS in Management and Marketing from University College Cork, and is undertaking a postgraduate degree in Information Design and Development. 


Implementation Consultant: Mo Dickson


Based in the Akari offices on the East Coast of Australia, Mo Dickson is the Implementation Consultant for Australia and New Zealand.
Mo spent 14 years in Australian universities, closely involved with the development, implementation and ongoing management of the Southern Cross University curriculum management system from 2011 until joining Akari in 2017. She has a particular interest in clear communication. Her earlier career includes teaching, programming and analysis, computer operations troubleshooting and quality, project and information management. 

Mo has a Bachelor of Science from The Open University, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Computer Graphics) from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma of Science (Information Services) from Edith Cowan University and a Master in Environmental Management with Honours from Griffith University.