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