O ccupation: Director/Economist

Age: 36

E-Mail address: ngibson@oxfordeconomics.com

Place of Birth: Belfast

Where you live: Crossgar

First Job: Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre

What it taught me: That work presents opportunities but it is up to the individual to make the most of these and develop a career. Unlike in education the way forward is not set out for you, but by you. That economics is simpler than many people try to make it. That a happy office environment makes a big difference to the quality of work produced

Family/Status: Married

Name of spouse and children: Spouse: Leanne

Children: Ethan (4), Erin (2)

Best advice anyone ever gave you: Treat people with respect and be understanding of other perspectives. Train people to work with you not for you and hire people who are smarter than you if you can – never be afraid of intelligence or be too proud to admit mistakes or look to others for guidance

Best advice you could give someone starting out: Care about what you do, care about the people you work with and only deliver work that you are proud of. Try to work with the best people in your chosen field as it has been the mentors I have worked with which have made the biggest influence on my career. Don’t take yourself too seriously, work can be stressful and there will be tough times but worrying about what people say or how they say it is not helpful. Avoid the trivial distracting from what really matters and remember it is the tougher times in work that teach you the most


Neil Gibson, Director of Oxford Economics, was educated in Applied Economics at the University of Ulster and in Computer Science at Queen’s University. His career in economics started out on placement at the, sadly now closed, Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre where he remained after graduation.

He then joined PricewaterhouseCoopers before setting up his own regional consultancy business with Dr Graham Gudgin. After three years this was sold to Oxford Economics where he still works as one of their global directors. Working internationally Neil has a team of 20 and carries out research and forecasting for multinationals and governments.

In Northern Ireland he has been privileged to play an active role in the Derry/Londonderry City of Culture win, the ongoing Corporation Tax debate and also important matters of policy such as shared education, development of the knowledge economy and future skills needs.

In the future he hopes to be able to contribute effectively to the development of the Northern Ireland economy and make practical and meaningful use of the skills built up thus far in his career. Married nearly 10 years ago to Leanne he has two children Ethan and Erin who have helped remind him of why striving towards a successful Northern Ireland economy in the future is a worthy career goal.

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