Oonagh Harpur

Oonagh Harpur

Oonagh Harpur is a Non-Executive Director, a Senior Advisor to boards on corporate strategy, reputation and governance and an inspirational chair and speaker. Oonagh has a track record of promoting ethical leadership from the boardroom.

Oonagh is Non-Executive Director, Government Legal Department and Wisdom of Crowds Ltd; Member, Walgreens Boots Alliance Advisory Panel on sustainability and a Senior Advisor to a number of financial and professional services company Boards, and to Tomorrow’s Company and Blueprint for Better Business. Oonagh also chairs conferences and is an inspirational public speaker.

Oonagh first became a CEO in 1989 and has served on boards for over 25 years in executive, advisory and non-executive roles as a CEO, a non-executive Director and a Trustee in the private, public and not for profit sectors. She has worked in the UK and USA in local and global organisations in the energy, health, and financial and professional services sectors.

As a member of the City Values Forum, the Lord Mayors’ initiative to restore trust and integrity in the City, she led and co-authored with Tomorrow’s Company: “Governing Values: a Guide for Boards of Financial Services Companies” in October 2013; and co-authored “Tomorrow’s Chairman” serialised in the FT in 2014.

During Oonagh’s early career as a corporate strategist her role shifted toward implementation. She soon realised that no matter how technically excellent a strategy was, most businesses would only achieve it if employees felt it viscerally. Furthermore, a company’s success depends on how the strategy is achieved, the values underlying behaviours are as important as the strategy itself. Oonagh came to the conclusion that clarity of purpose was essential for people to be motivated to do the right thing. In 1998 she chaired the National Forum on the Purpose and Values of business, a joint initiative between the IoD, RSA, and IBE which drew learning from a very large National Opinion Poll survey what the public, employees, customers, suppliers and corporate directors experience in their day to day interactions with business.

Oonagh was nominated as a Cranfield FTSE “100 Women to Watch” in 2012 and 2013.