Ms. O’Hagan was born and educated in the U.K. She obtained a number of academic awards and a first class degree at Oxford University, specializing in political geography. While a graduate student, she taught various related subjects and co-authored a book on the first direct elections to the European Parliament.
Mary O’Hagan first began working for NDI in 2001, when she was invited to contribute to the NDI Croatia program as a consultant. In early 2003 she joined NDI full time in Slovakia, moving later in the year to direct NDI’s programs in Serbia. This included parliamentary, political party and civic programs, public opinion research and the creation of the first set of digital maps of election results in Serbia.
In 2005, Ms. O’Hagan moved to Moscow where she served as NDI’s country director in Russia. In 2006, she moved to Tbilisi and served as NDI’s country director in Georgia, running parliamentary and domestic election monitoring programs. Her work for NDI in Georgia also included international election assessment and observation missions, public opinion research, digital mapping of election results and statistical analysis of the voter registry.
Ms. O’Hagan moved to Nairobi in 2009, where she runs political party and other programs for NDI. She has represented NDI at a number of international events and produced a manual for the Institute on quantitative research methods.
She is currently NDI’s resident senior director in Ukraine.
Prior to joining NDI, Ms. O’Hagan served as the head of research for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. She was also responsible for their internal communication and led a team that developed the party’s first on-line intranet. Her first political job was as a political advisor in the European Parliament on foreign affairs, institutional issues and Northern Ireland. She later represented the merged EDG/EPP political group in London.