DBS Board Member

Mary Cunneen


Mary Cunneen has been a Non-Executive Director of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Board since April 2019.

She is a lawyer by profession, starting her career as a criminal defence lawyer before moving onto specialising in human rights as director of law and policy at Liberty, Director of Anti-Slavery International, Human Rights advisor to the Foreign Office and senior lawyer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Mary was a Commissioner at the Independent Police Complaints Commission during a period of substantial change, leading profile investigations into police conduct, including deaths in custody, corruption and serious sexual assaults. She was the IPCC board lead for child sexual abuse and oversaw development of IPCC strategy and procedures and numerous investigations into police handling of child sexual abuse cases.

She was also former chair of the National Referral Mechanism multi-agency panels, reviewing Home Office decisions on the status of trafficking and slavery victims.

Mary chairs the Remuneration Committee (Remco) and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee (ARC).

DBS Board Member

Board members are senior figures from outside DBS who bring a mix of expertise and skills from across the public and private sector. They all:

  • oversee performance
  • set the strategic direction for the DBS
  • support and challenge management on implementing the DBS strategic direction
  • make sure that statutory duties are carried out

DBS board members are appointed following open and fair competition and in line with the Governance Code on Public Appointments. The appointments are for an initial period of 3 years, with the possibility of re-appointment.

Disclosure and Barring Service