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Barbara Wynne, Head of Digital and Technology Practice

FIPRA

Barbara.Wynne@fipra.com

My Job

As Head of Digital and Technology at FIPRA, my role is to provide strategic government affairs and policy advice to digital clients and clients with a digital policy interest.

My Experience

I joined FIPRA in January, bringing over 20 years’ experience in government affairs and public policy at a national, EU, European, and international level and in corporate and trade association environments.

I started out working on environment policy with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) in Dublin, before moving to its EU representation office, and subsequently joining global professional services company, Accenture.

During my time at Accenture, I held leadership roles in the government relations’ function at EU, European and global level and developed my digital policy expertise, across a range of areas including AI, cloud, cyber-security, data, data privacy, online trust and safety, and on the broader impact of digital technologies on the economy and society.

My Proudest Achievements

I love running thought leadership-based advocacy campaigns, particularly when you can start the policy debate, or can shape it at the early stages. I have had the privilege of being involved in many campaigns, but two that I am particularly proud of are a campaign on the digital transformation of the European economy that contributed to the prioritization of ‘digital’ on the EU policy agenda and another on Global AI Governance that shaped emerging policy in multiple markets globally, including the EU, and supported the positioning of an AI business and offering with clients and stakeholders.

Outside of work, I am very proud to have set-up the Belgium Ladies Gaelic Football team that went on to win 10 European Championships in a row, represented Europe in the World Games and in the All-Ireland Club Championship series. I might have started things, but I am most proud of the other people who drove the continued success of the team, which is still going strong today.

My Education

I have a BA International in History and French from University College Dublin (UCD) and Université Lumière, Lyon II; an MA in European Studies from UCD; a Diploma in Applied European Law from the Law Society of Ireland; an MBA from Solvay Business School and most recently completed a course in Sustainable Business Management with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

My Languages

English, French

My Interests outside work

I spend most of my spare time involved in sport: watching, playing and most importantly, socialising. I have made some of my closest friends through playing sport and supporting Dublin (gaelic football), or Ireland (any sport), is a family sport. While I still play hockey, I retired from gaelic football when the pandemic hit and replaced it with cycling, triathlon and yoga. The latter being a requirement to be able to continue the others! 

As you will have seen, I love learning, particularly about what’s going on in the world, whether that is through reading, listening to podcasts or the radio, watching the news, or chatting to people.

My Favourite Brussels anecdote

I am always impressed by effective public affairs campaigns, and one of the most effective I have seen was when Greenpeace took the European Business Summit by surprise in 2011. Out of nowhere, Greenpeace activists dressed in trenchcoats and holding briefcases physically blocked access to the conference centre and dropped banners on the walls of the conference centre calling out ‘Climate Leaders and Laggards’. The peaceful protest got global media attention, and one could not but be impressed not least by th element of surprise, even as a sponsor.  

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