GOAL announces Barry O’Connell as new Board Chair - GOAL Global Skip to content

GOAL announces Barry O’Connell as new Board Chair


June 11, 2021 • 2 min read

GOAL has announced the appointment of senior business executive, Barry O’Connell, as chair of its Board of Directors replacing Vodafone CEO, Anne O’Leary, after six years of dedicated service.

Mr. O’Connell brings a wealth of global experience to the role, having spent over twenty years working in a wide range of senior strategic roles around the world for Coca-Cola.

Ms O’Leary said today it has been one of the greatest privileges of her career to serve as Chair of GOAL over the past 6 years.

“I am incredibly proud of this organisation and all its accomplishments since its foundation in 1977. GOAL has transformed the lives of countless millions over the last 40 years. This has been a deeply rewarding experience and I am grateful for the opportunity to spotlight some of the greatest humanitarian crises in our world.”

She added: “I am particularly proud of GOAL’s work targeting the most vulnerable, especially women and children. Addressing issues of equality and inclusion are fundamental to every business and organisation, and I want to acknowledge the courage of the 2,400 GOAL staff and partners right around the globe, many who work in very fragile contexts every day.”

Ms O’Leary said she is also very grateful for the support of her GOAL Board colleagues during her six-year tenure as Chair. “It was an honour to serve with them to nurture a mission that we are all so passionate about. The Board works tirelessly to steward the organisation’s growth and the highest standards of accountability.”

She said Mr O’Connell brings a wealth of global experience with him to GOAL, having worked for Coca Cola in Ireland, Russia, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore/Malaysia.

Ms O’Leary added: “His understanding of how to support change, growth, and transformation in global organisations will create new opportunities for GOAL in a world that is increasingly complex and challenging.”

His in depth experience and proven track-record delivering business outcomes, while ensuring long-term sustainability by building organisational capability from talent development to infra-structure and digitalisation, will be an excellent fit for GOAL’s global operations.”

Having lived internationally for many years, Mr O’Connell has returned home to Ireland. Born in Cork, he is married to Mary, and they have four children.

Mr O’Connell said: “I am honoured to be appointed as Chair of GOAL, an organisation which I have admired from afar for many years. I am deeply grateful to Anne O Leary, the wider Board, CEO Siobhan Walsh, and her entire team for such a professional operation from which to build.”

“I am very excited about the future, to strengthen existing partnerships and build new ones in both the public and private sectors. I also look forward to leveraging innovation in all its forms and harnessing the goodwill of all those committed to making a real and lasting difference in the World.”

GOAL operates in 14 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Last year it reached more than 14.3 million people in need in the areas of Health, Nutrition, Livelihoods and Emergency Response.