Paul has a wealth of experience working in the voluntary, community and public sectors in Northern Ireland.
From 1987 to 1994 he was the Director of the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, which supported community-based self-help initiatives.
He joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) in 1994, initially on secondment, as an adviser on community development and reconciliation. Throughout his subsequent career in the NICS he held a number of senior positions including Deputy Secretary in the Office of the First and deputy First Minister, Permanent Secretary in the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure and Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education.
Since retiring from the NICS in 2017 Paul has undertaken a trustee role in a number of not-for-profit organisations involved in regeneration, culture and young people.
On 1 June 2021, Paul was appointed Chair of The National Lottery Community Fund's Northern Ireland Funding Committee.