Denis O’Brien the Cork-born and Dublin-raised entrepreneur founded Digicel in 2001 and has grown it to be one of the largest cell phone companies in the world. It provides access to over 26 countries, with a focus on the Caribbean and Central America.
After the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, O’Brien played a massive role in the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince’s Iron Market. This included building over 180 earthquake-proof schools and training over a thousand teachers and school directors through the Digicel Foundation, of which O’Brien is the Founder and Patron.
The foundation has impacted the development of over 500 classrooms in rural Papua New Guinea, joined with USAID and Jamaica’s Ministry of Education to reach an 86.5% literacy rate, and funded a $42 million (JMD) COVID-19 pandemic response that provided PPE to hospital staff in Jamaica.
O’Brien has a seat on several boards and foundations. Most notably, he was elected Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Action Network, is currently a board member of Concern Worldwide, and chairman of the Ireland Special Olympics’ Council of Patrons.