Disability Federation of Ireland announces the appointment of Elaine Teague as its new Chief Executive Officer

March 22 2024

Elaine Teague DFI CEO

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is delighted to announce the appointment of Elaine Teague as the federation’s new Chief Executive Officer.  Elaine’s appointment comes after an extensive recruitment process aimed at finding a leader to drive DFI forward. Elaine will succeed outgoing CEO John Dolan.

Elaine has 30 years of experience working in the non-profit and disability sector. She is currently Director of Adult Services with St. Michael’s House, where she provides strong, consistent, visionary leadership to deliver high-quality, person-centred services.

Commenting on her appointment, Elaine said, “People with disabilities make an enormous contribution to our society. I see my role in DFI as enabling their contribution to be understood and valued.

“A key element of my role as CEO will be to represent the views and concerns of our member organisations which include sustainability of services, and recruitment and retention of staff. As a federation we will continue to focus on strong policy and advocacy that will drive full implementation of the UN CRPD at a national and local level.”

Elaine continued, “We are in a moment of change and flux, not just in the disability sector, but at a wider political and societal level in Ireland. DFI is well placed as a strong federation of experienced and innovative organisations to influence the change that needs to happen to enshrine the rights of disabled people to live full and meaningful lives in their community. I feel both privileged and excited to be joining DFI as CEO at this time.”

Commenting on Elaine’s appointment, Michael Doyle, Chairperson of the Board of DFI said, We are confident that Elaine will make a very positive contribution to the achievement of the vision, mission and values of DFI, working with the dedicated management and staff to ensure that our objectives are achieved in the coming years.

“The Board is also confident that Elaine will work to progress positive working relationships with our stakeholders which include disabled people, our member organisations, our funders, the disability movement, civil society, the political domain and the general public.”

Michael went on to say, “Elaine is joining DFI at a critical time of change in the sector as we continue to work to implement the UN CRPD and to achieve the equal participation of people with disabilities in society.

“DFI looks forward to welcoming Elaine who will take up her CEO role in May 2024.”

Michael also paid tribute to outgoing CEO John Dolan who retires after 24 years. He said, “It is impossible to put into words the impact that John has had and the changemaker he has been within the disability sector in Ireland and internationally. We look forward to having the opportunity to acknowledge John at an appropriate event before his departure in May. The Board takes this opportunity to wish John health and happiness in his retirement and to thank him for his immense contribution to DFI and the disability sector over the past two decades.”


Notes to editors

Additional biographical notes

Elaine is from Lusk in North County Dublin where she lives with her husband and three children (and two dogs).

She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Implementation Science. She also holds a Quality Management qualification, a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Training and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Studies.

Elaine started her career with St. Michael’s House in 1995 and has held a number of other positions within the organisation including Director of Quality and Safety, Compliance Officer, Service Manager, and Regional Training Manager.

She has a proven track record in the area of quality and standards. Elaine was also involved in the development and implementation of Open Disclosure in Intellectual Disability Services nationally and in the national roll out of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act in Intellectual Disability Services.

In her down time Elaine likes to swim and is an avid hillwalker. She will complete a section of the Camino in the coming weeks.

About DFI

DFI is a federation of member organisations working with people with disabilities to implement the UN CRPD and ensure their equal participation in society.

For media contact:

Brenda Drumm, Communications Manager, Disability Federation of Ireland, 086 076 4114 brendadrumm@disability-federation.ie. 

A high resolution photograph of Elaine is available on request

Image information: 

Image is a head and shoulders photo of Elaine who is wearing a cerise pink top.