Canadian Paralympic Committee Appoints Karen O’Neill as CEO

April 25, 2013

The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) has announced that Karen O’Neill will lead the organization as Chief Executive Officer from June 3, 2013.

A highly-respected senior executive in Canada’s sports community, O’Neill has extensive experience in multiple leadership roles. Currently CEO of Field Hockey Canada – a position she has held since 2009 – O’Neill was Chief Operating Officer of the Rick Hansen Foundation from 2004 to 2009, where she oversaw a period of rapid growth and innovation. As CEO of Commonwealth Games Canada from 1997 to 2004, O’Neill led Games strategy and sport technical for the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur and the 2002 Games in Manchester, along with the International Development through Sport program.

O’Neill also worked as Director General of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association from 1989 to 1992, was Chef de Mission for the Atlanta 1996 Canadian Paralympic Team and is a founding member of the Sport Matters Group. Originally from Halifax, N.S., she holds a master’s degree in education from McGill University and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Concordia University.

“I am thrilled that Karen O’Neill has accepted the challenge of guiding Canada to become the world’s leading Paralympic nation,” said David Legg, President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “She has the requisite passion, knowledge and emotional intelligence that will enable us to take that important next step. Her strong leadership skills, strategic thinking and reputation within the Canadian sport system will propel the Canadian Paralympic Committee in to a new and exciting era. Karen is a great champion of parasport and an outstanding choice to build on the success of the CPC.”

The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), applauded O’Neill’s appointment.

“Our Government applauds the appointment of Karen O’Neill as CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC). Her long history and proven leadership in all aspects of Canadian and international sport, as well as her first-hand knowledge of parasport make her well qualified to guide the CPC in its efforts to grow the Paralympic movement inCanada.”

Anne Merklinger, Chief Executive Officer of Own The Podium, added: “Karen is an extraordinary Canadian talent who is a natural choice to ensure Canada’s high-performance Paralympic community remains focused on excellence and winning medals. I look forward to working together with Karen and her team at the Canadian Paralympic Committee on our joint mission of positioning Canada as a world-leader in Paralympic sport.”