Curriculum Vitae for
Maureen O'Neill OBE

Maureen O'Neill's Curriculum Vitae shows the experience on which she draws for insights into management, organisations and their development.

Personal Profile

A creative, seasoned Board Member and Director with vast experience in driving the development of several public health and community organisations.

Demonstrates a deep understanding of issues effecting stakeholder management, business strategy and fundraising as well as having an objective, persuasive approach to running a board and ensuring developments are executed on time and within budget.

Communicates complex strategy and vision in a clear manner and excels in driving senior teams towards key objectives.

Possesses a varied skill-set including policy analysis and development, promotion, and press and media strategies.

Excels at creating partnerships, building relationships and networks. Has developed an open and consultative style of management but with clear direction and decision-making.

Recognised as a key player in the voluntary sector resulting in invitations to serve on boards of management or to take the chair.

Non-Executive Experience

Chair - Braeburn Home: 2013 to present

Provides nursing/ residential care for older people.

  • Reviewed and reorganised the governance arrangements to establish a Board which is focused on the business, taking into account the needs of the residents.
  • Established a House Committee which supports the residents with friendship and activities.
  • Enabled all the policies and procedures to be up-dated so that the Home could move forward to register as a nursing home. This was achieved, and the home receives grade 5’s from the Care Inspectorate.
  • Instituted a flat fee policy so that residents/relatives do not have a demand for extra fees when someone is ill or at end of life.
  • Meets with the relatives regularly

Board Member - Voluntary Health Scotland - from December 2018 to present

  • VHS is the national intermediary and network for voluntary health organisations in Scotland. 

Member – Women in Scotland Board (known as IGF)
2013 to present

A grant making organisation for women in poverty.

  • Was instrumental in persuading Board members to review the grant policy so that it was more responsive to those most in need.  This work has now been further refined.
  • Appointed as Chair of the Grants Policy Sub-Committee

Chair – Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh Lay Committee:  2012 to 2018                                                                

  • First elected Chairperson of the Committee by its members.
  • Developed a programme of activities including the organisation of the first Lay Advisory Committee conference which responds to the College’s wish to extend public engagement.
  • Enabled the development of working groups to consider specific issues to make recommendations to the RCPE which engage clinicians.
  • Participates in the wider work of the College and on its Council

Scottish Executive: 1998 - 2004

  • Ministerial appointment as Chair of the Scottish Executive Committee on Active Communities
  • Previously a Member of the joint working group to develop the Scottish Compact between the Scottish Executive and the Voluntary Sector.
  • Initiated a joint conference with the Scottish Executive during the UK Presidency of the EU on ‘Migration’, held in Dunblane.
  • Organised a seminar highlighting the social issues affecting Europe in conjunction with European Parliament Office.  
  • Worked with the EU Parliament Office, ACOSVO and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) to strengthen connections with the EU as well as developing links with the Third Sector in the UK
  • Organised a round-table debate between the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the School of Health and Social Care of Edinburgh University 
  • Initiated a joint conference on social enterprise between the EESC and SCVO

President of Social Affairs – European Economic and Social Committee: 2002 - 2016

  • UK Government appointee to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) – the civil society voice of the European Union institutions
  • Chair of the Standing Group on the EU Year on Poverty and Social Inclusion for the EESC. 
  • Elected President of the Social Affairs Section (SOC) in the European Economic and Social Committee
  • Appointed as President to a range of study groups within the European Economic and Social Committee including the EU Year on Poverty, Long Term Care, Decent Work, and Productivity 
  • Participated in a range of study groups connected with demographic change and ageing, research, migration and employment
  • Invited speaker to a range of conferences in different parts of Europe.
  • Developed an organisational review strategy with a colleague
  • Developed and supported activities during her Presidency of SOC with an emphasis on collaboration both internally and with external bodies.

Executive Experience

Director – Faith in Older People: May 2007 - present 

  • Developed Faith in Older People from its inception to one that is recognised as a leader in the field of ageing and spiritual care
  • Acts as the key spokesperson for Faith in Older People
  • Organised the 5th International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality in Edinburgh and acted as advisor to the 6th Conference in Los Angeles and was invited to be an advisor to the 7th International Conference in Chicago
  • Undertook work with Mowat Research on research and training in relation to employment and older people, and developed a partnership between Mowat and Faith in Older people in relation to the spiritual care of older people  
  • Company Secretary for companies limited by guarantee with charitable status and a commercial company and developed a joint venture company for the sales of products and services for older people 
  • Developed the first Advocacy Service in the State Hospital, Carstairs

Director – RBS Centre for the Older Person’s Agenda, Queen Margaret University College: 2004-2006

  • As the new department Head, established a range of relationships with other organisations and individuals.
  • Developed an organisational strategy
  • Contributed to the overall business plan for the University
  • Facilitated workshops and undertook research

CEO – Age Concern Scotland: 1993-2004

Key Achievements:

  • Included in the Sunday Herald Newspaper’s 150 most influential people in Scotland resulting from Age Concern Scotland’s (now AGE Scotland) campaign for free personal care
  • Positioned Age Concern Scotland as the leader in the voluntary sector on issues affecting older people
  • Developed the commercial arm of Age Concern resulting in the setting up of a joint venture company with colleagues in Age Concern England that resulted in a significant increase in profits in the first 4 years
  • Developed sponsorship deals with companies to support the work of Age Concern Scotland
  • Invited to be a keynote speaker or to chair major conferences. Examples: Slovenian Presidency Conference on Long Term Care; Edinburgh Science Festival, British Society of Gerontology, British Geriatric Society, European Conference on Research into Ageing, EESC Biennial Conference and many workshops in both a UK and European context

Previous Experience


  • Scottish Association for Mental Health, Head of Policy and Information 1986 – 1993
  • YWCA, General Secretary Edinburgh 1982 – 1986
  • West Lothian Health Council, General Secretary 1981 – 1982
  • Scottish Council for Single Homeless 1980 – 1981
  • Royal College of Nursing (London) Administrative Officer 1978 – 1980
  • Royal College of Surgeons (London) Co-ordinator of 2 specialist surgical associations 1974 – 1975
  • Polytechnic of North London, Assistant to the Director of Academic Planning 1974 – 1975
  • Guy’s Hospital Medical School, Secretary to the Physiology Department 1968 – 1974
  • Royal Courts of Justice, London, Clerk to the Official Solicitors Department 1966 – 1968


  • Chairperson – Castlecliff Training Workshops for young people
  • Board Member – Handicabs (Lothian)
  • Board Member Edinburgh Council on Alcohol
  • Board Member – Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Chairperson – Edinburgh Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Chairperson – Rowan Alba Housing Association and Board Member of the overarching company Novas Overtures - a consortium to develop services for people with mental health, alcohol or homeless difficulties
  • Chairperson- Scottish Executive Active Communities Forum
  • Board Member Scottish Business in the Community
  • Board Member of ACEnt.  The enterprise company for Age Concern across the UK.  Also Member and Company Secretary to the subsidiary company ACEnt Scotland
  • Board Member Age Concern England
  • Council Member Scottish Social Services Council; Vice Chair and Chair of the Learning and Development Committee; member of Finance and Resources Committee and Chair of the Workforce Development Committee. (Public appointment – salaried)
  • Board Member of NHS Quality Improvement Scotland. Chair of the Staff Governance Committee and member of the Patient Focus Public Involvement Working Group. (Public appointment – salaried)
  • Pilotlighter – consultant on a voluntary basis to organisations going through a change process in their organisation
  • Scottish Government nomination as one of 3 Scottish Representatives to the European Economic and Social Committee. Appointed by the UK Government.  Vice President of my group and President of the Social Affairs Section


  • BA (Hons) History (1978) Birkbeck College, London University
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies (1988) Napier College (now University) Edinburgh
  • Diploma in Leadership and Authority (2001) Scottish Institute of Human Relations, Glasgow.