Posted 06.08.2020

Disability Action is delighted to announce two new appointments to the Strategic Management Team. Karen Smith has been appointed to the role of Head of Contracted Services and Patrick Malone has been appointed to the role of Head of Policy, Comms, Information & Advocacy.

Karen Smith: Head of Contracted Services

A member of the Disability Action team since 2011, Karen Smith has been appointed to the role of Head of Contracted Services. Reporting to the CEO, Karen will work closely within a small senior management team to shape the strategy, inform best practice on current issues and promote the organisation at all levels. She will be responsible for providing innovative solutions to the current funding environment and advice for the CEO and the Board of Directors.

Since 2015 Karen has led and managed our European Social Fund project Job Match delivering bespoke recruitment and job-related support and guidance to individuals and employers NI-Wide - Karen will continue to undertake this role.

Karen has over 30 years’ experience of working in the public, private and voluntary sectors across the UK in disability and employment policy, practice, management and organisational transformation. She is a member of the Institute of Employability Professionals, a member of NICVA’s Joint Forum for Disability Action, also NICVA's ESF User Group and NIUSE’s Policy Group and have just joined the NI Education Authority External Stakeholder Advisory Group.

Patrick Malone: Head of Policy, Comms, Information & Advocacy

Patrick Malone has been appointed to the role of Head of Policy, Comms, Information & Advocacy. Patrick joined the Disability Action team in 2016 as Public Affairs and Engagement Officer responsible for external affairs, political engagement and policy work.

In his new role Patrick will provide strong policy direction for the CEO and the Board of Directors. This is a forward-facing role and Patrick will represent the organisation at the highest levels publicly, in the sector and within government.

Patrick has over 10 years’ experience in policy and public affairs and has been involved in a lot of international work around advancing the rights of disabled people. 

Patrick sits on the boards of the Human Rights Consortium, Digital Express Northern Ireland and The Advancing Rights Initiative.