The Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Dr Theresa Donaldson, has announced she resigning.
In a letter to councillors today she said she was “leaving to pursue other interests and have more time with my family” although it is understood she will remain in post until September.
DUP group leader Alderman James Tinsley said: “She has been a fantastic asset to our council”.
He added: “Personally I was shocked to get the letter. She has certainly left the council in a very good position.
“We have always had an excellent relationship with her and wish her well for the future. It is good that she is not rushing out the door.”
In her letter she told councillors: “I wish to advise you that I have spoken to The Right Worshipful the Mayor and Party Group Leaders to make them aware that I will be resigning from my post as Chief Executive of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
“I want to thank Elected Members and staff in the Council for their support and encouragement during the last 4 years. It has been an overwhelmingly outstanding point in my career to serve as Chief Executive for this excellent, leading Council. I am leaving to pursue other interests and have more time with my family but will always maintain an interest in LCCC as it continues to grow and prosper.”
Dr Donaldson qualified as a social worker in 1984 and worked for 12 years in community-based children’s services before being appointed Deputy Director at the Guardian Ad Litem Agency in Northern Ireland in 1996.
She also won a research fellowship to the Centre for Childcare Research, where she was awarded a PhD in 2002.
After a brief return to the voluntary sector she was appointed Director of Policy and Service Development with the Northern Ireland Legal Services Commission in 2004.
In December 2010 she was appointed Chief Executive of Craigavon Borough Council, subsequently moving to her current position some four years ago.
Dr Donaldson has previously listed her interests outside work as reading, playing tennis, skiing, sailing, walking her dog and spending time with her husband and children.