22 January 2024

Announcement of Our New CEO, Dr. Karen Foley

We are delighted to announce we have appointed Dr. Karen Foley as our new CEO, who will take up the post this April. Karen has been a senior staff member in ABI Ireland for many years and established herself as a leader within the organisation and broader sector. She has been the organisation’s Head of Service Operations since 2021 with responsibility for strategic service development, operational management, rehabilitation processes and standards nationally. Karen achieved a Research Doctorate from Trinity College Dublin, postgraduate certification in Healthcare Management from the Institute for Public Administration and Certification in Brain Injury Specialism, accredited by the Brain Injury Association of America.

Karen holds a Board position with the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) and represents on a number of national working groups, striving to deliver on the recommendations of the Ombudsman’s Wasted Lives report and the rollout of the National Neuro-Rehabilitation Strategy. ABI Ireland Chairperson Clair Cullinan welcomed Karen to the role saying she brings a wealth of experience and commitment to improving neurorehabilitation services.


Karen is a passionate advocate for the provision of the person centred, quality neuro-rehabilitation services across Ireland for people with brain injuries. The Board of ABI Ireland wishes her every success and she will have our full support.

Karen said she is very excited to serve brain injury survivors throughout Ireland. “I am honoured to have been selected to lead ABI Ireland. There is a lot of work to be done to make effective neurorehabilitation available to more people in all parts of the country. We also have to address hundreds of brain injury survivors unnecessarily living in nursing homes, as identified in the Ombudsman’s Wasted Lives report in 2021.

“I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution of former CEO of 23 years Barbara O’Connell. She has been an extraordinary visionary and leader, with both compassion and ambition. She will be an inspiration to me in the years ahead.

“I also want to thank past and present staff in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland for their dedication. I look forward to strengthening relationships and working together to achieve improved quality of life for many people and their families.”

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