Previously, Gavin was Chief Executive (Designate) of the Education and Skills Authority (ESA). Alongside this role, he led CCEA , the Belfast Education and Library Board (BELB) and the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB) at various times as Interim Chief Executive.
From 2000 to 2008, he was Chief Executive of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) where he was responsible for restructuring and refocusing the organisation following a difficult merger.
He put in place a plan of improvement that led to the achievement of the Northern Ireland Quality Award in 2004, a place in the final of the UK Business Excellence Awards in 2005 and 2006 and the achievement of the UK Award in 2007. CCEA went on to win the European Excellence Award in 2008.
Gavin started his career in the private sector. As a former Director of Cawoods Group Ltd, he was a member of a team of three executive directors who bought the company from the British Coal Corporation in 1995 and successfully sold the business in 1999.
Gavin is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.