The Orange Institution has announced the appointment of a new chief executive.
Former director of the Ulster-Scots Community Network, Iain Carlisle, will assume the senior role later this month.
The County Down man, 43, will be primarily responsible for leading the development and execution of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland’s long term strategy, as well as managing the operation of the Loyal Order’s Belfast headquarters and administration, serving more than 1,100 private lodges.
Mr Carlisle said: "I am honoured to have been selected for the post of chief executive with the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland. My family have been involved with the Institution for generations and I have always had a keen interest in Orange culture and history.
“I look forward to working with the officers and members as collectively we continue the process of developing the Institution, ensuring its sustainability and relevance, both today and in the future.”
He continued: "The wider Orange family has an important role in Ulster society. Our network of Orange halls provide valuable community facilities and the musical traditions associated with the Institution engage thousands of young people with the arts on a weekly basis.
“These, and other important facets of our Institution need to be acknowledged, developed and resourced appropriately and I look forward to working towards these goals."
Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson, congratulated Mr Carlisle on his appointment.
He said: “Iain is an individual of great calibre and experience, who is highly respected both within the Orange fraternity and the wider community. His career background, most notably successfully promoting Ulster-Scots heritage and culture, ensures he is ideally suited to spearhead this exciting new chapter for Grand Lodge.
“I have no doubt he will play a pivotal role in ensuring the Institution is even more dynamic and proactive in its overall output and outreach, strengthening our status as a major stakeholder in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic.”
Mr Carlisle is from The Spa near Ballynahinch, and is married with two daughters.
The Queen’s University graduate was formerly employed in the agricultural seed industry.
An Orangeman, Iain is currently the secretary of Brunswick LOL 1702. As well as being a member of the Royal Black Institution, Mr Carlisle is also band master of Brunswick Accordion Band, Annalong.
His hobbies include playing and teaching music, hill walking, military history and country sports.