Denis Murphy was appointed as the first Chairman of the National Milk Agency on its establishment in 1994. A graduate in commerce from UCC he also holds an MBA degree from UCC and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. As a Fulbright scholar he studied farmer co-operatives, corporate strategy and finance at the University of Minnesota. He has served as a member of the Industrial Development Authority and has experience as a director of national co-operative organisations, of private companies in the agribusiness, fisheries and security sectors, of a publicly quoted mining company and of community organisations. He has extensive experience in the dairy sector having served as a director of the Irish Dairy Board, the National Dairy Council and the Irish Dairy Industries Association and was the Irish representative on the processing costs working group of the European Dairy Industries Association. He was chief executive and previously financial controller and secretary of Ballyclough Co-operative Creamery, deputy chief executive of Dairygold Co-operative Society, and group financial controller and previously management accountant of Mitchelstown Co-operative Agricultural Society. In his early career he was a business advisory officer with ICOS.