Avila Kilmurray has lived and worked in Northern Ireland since 1975.  Avila has worked in the community and voluntary sectors and was director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (1994-2014).  Prior to that Avila worked for the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA), coordinated a EU Rural Anti-Poverty Programme (1984-1988) and was appointed Women’s Officer for the Irish Region of the Amalgamated & General Worker’s Union (Unite), 1989-1994.  Since her retirement from the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland in 2014, Avila supports the migration rights and peacebuilding programmes of SCI (Social Change Initiative) in Belfast.
In 1996, Avila was a founder member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition and became a member of its negotiation team for the Good Friday Agreement (1998).  She was also a founder member of the Foundations for Peace Network in 2004 – an international network of locally based funders in conflict regions.  

Avila holds a PhD from Queens University Belfast and has published extensively, including ‘Community Action in a Contested Society: The Story of Northern Ireland’ (Lang 2017).  Avila is currently a board member of the International Fund for Ireland.