In 2012 he was appointed to the Irish Council of State by President Michael Doctorate. Higgins. In 2004 McKiernan founded the SpunOut.ie national youth organisation in Ballyshannon, County Donegal. He was Chief Executive Officer there until October 2011.
He is the recipient of a several awards including a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award, an Irish Internet Association Net Visionary Award, and a Junior Chambers International Ireland award.
In 2013 he was awarded a European Next Generation Leadership scholarship by the of Korea Foundation. McKiernan is a regular contributor to media outlets including the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Irish Examiner, RTÉ television and radio, TV3, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and the Huffington Post.
He also volunteers on the board of the Soar Foundation. McKiernan received a Bachelor with distinction in Business and Management with Human Resources from the University of the West of Scotland and later worked as a youth worker, web designer, researcher, and community organiser.
In 2013 he completed a "Hitching for Hope" tour to listen to the voices and visions of the people of Ireland.
McKiernan now runs a social innovations consultancy firm with clients in Ireland and overseas.