Barbara O’Connell

Congress Co-President

Barbara O’Connell

Congress Co-President

Biography

Barbara O’Connell is co-founder and Chief Executive of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland (ABI Ireland). Barbara has built the organisation from an idea to a national organisation providing specialist neuro-rehabilitation services in communities throughout Ireland. These services are internationally accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation for Rehabilitation Facilities). Prior to setting up ABI Ireland, Barbara worked as an Occupational Therapy Manager in the National Rehabilitation Hospital, pioneering the design, implementation and management of social reintegration programmes for people with an ABI, bridging the identified gap between post-acute services and return to the community. Across her career she has worked directly with clients and staff in adult and adolescent psychiatry and intellectual disability. Barbara has an MBA in Healthcare and Business from Smurfit Business School University College Dublin. Along with women in leadership training she completed an executive education course in Non-Profit Strategic Management in Harvard Business School in 2012 and strategic decision making in the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013. Additional achievements for Barbara include the two awards she received in 2012; Women Mean Business – Social Entrepreneur of the Year and National Winner of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award for Social Enterprise.