Dr Barbara Disley
Barbara has extensive leadership and management experience leading large teams in the education and health sectors. She has held a number of senior public positions including Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation. From 1996 to 2002, Barbara was the inaugural chair of the Mental Health Commission and from 2002 until 2007 she was Deputy Secretary Ministry of Education. In this role, she was responsible for integrating the special education service into the Ministry, and for the overall leadership, funding and provision of special education services for children and young people. Before joining Richmond Services (an organisation that merged to become Emerge Aotearoa), Barbara worked as a Principal Consultant for Cognition Education Ltd, leading their research and evaluation team, prior to joining Richmond where she was appointed Group Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa in 2015.
Over the course of 2018, Barbara was a member of the Mental Health & Addiction Inquiry Panel. She has a doctorate in education and in 2011 was made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.