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Marie Gleeson

Marie Gleeson

Former Irish Navy Ships Captain & Motivational Speaker

Marie Gleeson honed her leadership style over the course of a twenty year military career operating primarily in the harsh and hostile Atlantic Ocean. Her journey from naval cadet to Captain of the LE AOIFE has given her unique insight into people and how to maximise performance even in the most challenging of circumstances. She has experienced the highs of international drug busts to the tragedy of the loss of a colleague overboard at sea.

Marie was one of the first female officers in the Irish navy and this gives her a unique insight into the reality of leading in a “mans” world. Marie is an honest and engaging speaker who brings her experience to life in her keynotes. She discusses the reality of decision making in high pressure and time critical operational environments and translates this into key leadership lessons for the business world.

The cornerstone of a military career is that service comes before self and this was the reality for Marie in her career until life threw a curveball of magnitude in her path. Marie’s personal story highlights the importance of support and resilience in the face of adversity.

Marie is an insightful, humorous and passionate speaker who combines her professional and personal experience to tailor her keynotes to maximum effect for her audience.


  • Leadership – A lived Experience, Leadership & Governance
  • Decision Making – The Leader’s Role
  • Overcoming Adversity – Stronger Than Before, Board Diversity
  • Diversity & Inclusion – Lead like a Woman
  • Teamwork – From Ship to Shore


“Marie was amazing, the feedback has been super. She was so easy to deal with, such a lovely person and her talk was brilliant!” -Eimear Michaels, Business Manager, Microsoft Ireland

“Marie addressed our company (virtually) for the IWD 2021 and did an amazing job sharing her wisdom and insights into Leadership, high performance and authenticity. She is a compelling speaker and it was brilliantly well received.”
-Niall Norton, CEO Opennet (An Amdocs Company)

“Marie Gleeson has provided a number of inputs to our diversity sessions in the health service. Feedback and the response to Marie was outstanding with Marie sharing her experience in leadership, staff engagement and motivation theory. Marie has a relaxed and engaging style always with requests for further inputs.” Rosarii Mannion, National Director of Human Resources, HSE

“Marie comes highly recommended as a leadership expert. She has a vast array of expertise to draw on and openly shares her knowledge. She reflects on her experiences in a most realistic and eloquent manner. Marie has the ability to capture the attention of an audience, through her story telling and evident compassion. There is no doubt that Marie is a gifted leader and puts people and team at the centre. Her core values, her own learning experiences and her ability to deliver a lecture make her a truly remarkable speaker.” -Dr Sarah McCloskey, CEO, MaryMount Hospice

“Marie was fantastic! She had the room so engaged and her talk was definitely the highlight of the day for a lot of people. They found her story captivating and insightful, while also being so human.” Catherine O’Doherty, New Ireland Assurance

“It was fantastic, a very unique perspective. The team were very impressed and thought Marie was excellent. We were very happy with what she delivered.” -Martin Healy, Franchise Manager, Boston Scientific

To book Marie for your event, contact Front Row Speakers on +353 1 485 3991 or email
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