Meet our Social Leaders


Full list of Fellows
Mary Duffy

Mary Duffy

Type of Fellowship: General
Year of Fellowship: 2011

Mary is a mother of two and is one of 53 cousins who grew up close within a four mile radius in rural Northern Ireland during The Troubles. Her deep sense of family, understanding of economic disadvantage and experience of social division anchor and fire her commitment to shape and support positive change.

Following postgraduate work at the LSE and doctoral work at the University of Oxford, Mary moved to Edinburgh where she worked in a sector-bridging role for the NHS. A Winston Churchill Fellowship in Australia showed her what could be done in a switched-on voluntary sector so on her return she moved to Barnardo’s where she was Assistant Director. She worked across all social welfare areas as well as co-leading UK-wide work supporting evidence informed decision making in the social sector.

Mary's recent work has focused on issues around social investment/enterprise, grantmaking and corporate governance. She was in the founding group of Changing the Chemistry, an initiative aimed at increasing diversity across boardrooms in all sectors, was an advisor to Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, and is non executive director of the Social Enterprise Academy. In 2014 Mary was appointed National Head of BBC Children in Need, an organisation that has distributed more than £720 million to support disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

Mary's research is available here

Twitter: @marybduffy

Current principal role: National Head
Current principal organisation: BBC Children in Need
Other leadership role 1: Trustee
Other organisation 1: Social Enterprise Academy

Research: Shining Armour or Sheep’s Clothing? Views on social investment in the UK
Research topics: Finance; Social investment;
Secondment host: Standard Life plc

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