Mary Davis Now CEO of Special Olympics International
12th May 2016
Irish woman Mary Davis has been announced as the CEO of Special Olympics International.
Previously she was the Acting CEO and served as the Managing Director and Regional President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia, where she has been overseeing the growth and development of Special Olympics across 58 countries in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia since 2009. She also serves on the Special Olympics International Board of Directors.
Mary was the driving force behind the hugely successful Special Olympics World Summer Games when they were staged in Ireland in 2003. She served as CEO of these Games, which were the first World Summer Games held outside the US since Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the movement in 1968. It was the largest sporting event in the world that year.
Davis was awarded Person of the Year in 2003 for her work on the Games, as well as recognition for her years of service with Special Olympics Ireland. In 2004, then-President Mary McAleese appointed Mary Davis to her Council of State (advisory body to the President on legislative matters), where she remained until 2011.
She started with Special Olympics soon after college as a local programme volunteer and coach. Davis has served in a series of leadership roles, helping create the first-ever Regional games, the 1985 Special Olympics European Games, working to build a powerful national programme as CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, and helping globalise the movement as CEO of the first Special Olympics World Summer Games held outside the US.