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Dearbhla is currently a lecturer on multiple academic programmes in the IPA in the areas of in health strategy and policy and leadership and management in healthcare. She is course director for the MA in Healthcare, Diploma in Healthcare Management and Diploma in Health Services Policy.
She has a wide variety of experience working in both the private and public sectors in several countries. For the first part of her career she worked in the telecommunications sector in Ireland and the USA. She then made the transition into the health sector and for the past 14 years has been involved in leadership, management and organisation development across the health sector and broader public sector in Ireland and other countries.
In 2014 Dearbhla returned to the Institute of Public Administration after working for two years in the RCSI in Bahrain as Senior Lecturer and Programme Director of an MSc in Healthcare Management. Prior to that, Dearbhla worked for five years in the IPA as a leadership and management specialist. That role involved providing management and organisational consultancy services to senior public sector managers in the areas of strategy development and implementation, leadership development, and change management. She also worked on several international organisational development projects for the IPA in Croatia, Macedonia and Lesotho.
She has worked previously as a lecturer in healthcare management for the RCSI in Dublin and as a project manager for the Office for Health Management, a government agency promoting leadership and management development across the Irish health sector.
Dearbhla holds a BSc in Management from Trinity College Dublin and an MBA in Health Services Management from the Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin. She completed a PhD in e-Research and Technology Enhanced Learning in the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University (UK).