Barbary Cook

Barbary Cook headshot

Senior Partner


Barbary works behind the scenes at Dragonfly to support partners and associates to develop new tools for clients, and design change processes that center questions of power and deeply held values. Barbary was born and raised in Northern Ireland and understands how deeply rooted our human resistance to change is. She believes we need to imagine our way into the future, not as a place of perfect change but of messy adaptation, where it takes courage to let go of values that no longer serve us.

Barbary supports organizations to dig beneath the surface to discover the source of their resistance to change—most often a painful clash of values. She believes in designing processes that are loving and generous, that explore how we embody our resistance to change, and that are secured in concrete, practical improvements to organizations' systems and processes. Recently, she has been focusing on supporting Dragonfly's partners and associates to develop effective and creative racial justice and equity change processes.

Barbary's approach to change work is built on the Adaptive Leadership model which she learned at Harvard Kennedy School, where she got her Master in Public Policy. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and a Bachelor of Arts in Law and Government from the University of Ulster. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is based in Philadelphia. In 2020, Barbary began to paint, having never picked up a paint brush before. Like the people Dragonfly works with, she too is changing who she is, and how she can help change the world.