ActionAid Ireland Appoints Karol Balfe as CEO

17th September 2021

Posted In: So In Demand

Karol Balfe, a native of Carlow, recently joined international aid organisation ActionAid Ireland as CEO. In her new role, Karol will oversee ActionAid’s work on women and children’s human rights.

ActionAid Ireland was established in 1983. It is part of a global federation working with 25 million people in 45 countries. ActionAid takes a human rights-based approach and has adopted feminist leadership principles in order to support its transformative vision of a just world free from poverty, oppression and patriarchy.

Of the appointment Karol said,

“I am hugely excited to join ActionAid Ireland, an organisation deeply committed to feminist principles, human rights and gender equality.

The challenges of inequality, a broken economic system, the climate crisis and discrimination are immense. I am so excited to join such an inspirational organisation that seeks to address systemic change and transform the lives of women and children.”

Chairperson of the ActionAid Board of Directors Anna Lee, said of the appointment, “We are delighted to have Karol join the ActionAid Ireland team as CEO. Karol brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to gender equality and human rights. I am looking forward to working closely with Karol, who will oversee the Irish team and programme of work.”

Karol has worked for over 18 years in the fields of international human rights, development and peacebuilding and has published policy and learning papers on a range of human rights and development issues. Karol worked with Christian Aid for nine years as Global Head of Peacebuilding, Head of Programmes and as an Adviser on Governance, Human Rights and Peacebuilding and worked on a range of human rights issues with Amnesty International Ireland and prior to that with Oxfam. She has a Masters in Globalisation and has worked extensively with a range of civil society partners and communities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.