Denise Charlton Public Speaking

About Denise

With over 25 years’ experience in the fields of equality, human rights, anti-discrimination and integration issues, Denise has in-depth knowledge of the social justice issues in Ireland and in the wider European and global context.

Her experience in the social justice sector includes carrying out roles as a strategist, a campaigns expert, a researcher and a commentator. Her key areas of expertise include immigration; gender-based violence and LGBT rights. Over the course of her career, Denise has been involved in many social justice causes and organisations that have achieved progressive, social change. She was the Co-Founder of Marriage Equality, (campaign for equal marriage for LGBT families in Ireland), a member of strategy group for Together for Yes (campaign for reproductive rights Ireland);

and led a number of campaigns that achieved legislative change on gender-based violence. More recently, she was involved with the campaign to re-elect President Michael D. Higgins.

She has been involved in the leadership of many campaigns which have effected social change in area of LGBT rights, migrant rights, gender-based violence and children’s rights. She has led campaigns that have achieved legislative and policy change in the area of LGBT rights; domestic violence, prostitution, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of children and child poverty.


  • MSc, University College Dublin
  • BScs, University College Dublin
  • Diploma in Executive Coaching (Irish Management Institute)
  • Diploma in Leadership (Irish Management Institute)
  • Harvard University, USA – Leadership (Ray Murphy Scholarship)
  • Columbia University, USA – Leadership
  • St Gerard’s School, Bray, Co Wicklow

Current Positions

Former Positions

  • Irish Appointed Expert to the European Expert Group on Human Trafficking
  • Former Board member of Sonas Housing
  • Expert member of the advisory committee on EU funded programme of Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Trafficking
  • Ministerial appointee to the Irish Government Task Force on Violence against Women
  • Member of the National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency Ireland (NDVIA)
  • Lead on consultation workshops for First LGBTI+ Inclusion Plan for Department of Justice & Equality