Members of Congress Announce the Washington Ireland Program Class of 2024 at 30th Special Event in Washington DC

United States Members of Congress Rep. Mike Kelly and Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon launched the Washington Ireland Program Class of 2024 at a special event in Washington DC today, as the program celebrates its thirtieth year.

The new class will see 30 high potential emerging leaders from across Northern Ireland and Ireland venture state-side this summer, as part of the prestigious transatlantic program.

For three decades, the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) has played an important role in post-conflict Northern Ireland and Ireland by bringing together leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds for outstanding leadership and skills-development programs. WIP’s aim is to support, inspire, and develop leaders who are committed to building a future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

WIP has a diverse community of over 900 Alumni who are delivering on that vision - including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Class of 2000), deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly MLA (Class of 2002), and Leader of the Opposition Matthew O'Toole MLA (Class of 2004). The WIP Alumni community also includes tech entrepreneur Aidan Corbett (Class of 2005), award-winning artist Adrian Margey (Class of 2005) and disability rights activist Alannah Murray (Class of 2019).

As the thirtieth class to embark on the prestigious program, the 2024 cohort have already demonstrated their leadership potential, have a strong track record of service, and are committed to building a bright future for the island of Ireland. Over a third of the students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and will receive full scholarships to participate.

Previous students have completed work placements in the offices of Senator Chuck Schumer, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton. The Program has been applauded by President Joe Biden as an example of the “special” relationship between Ireland and America.

As supporters of the program, Members of Congress Rep. Kelly and Rep. Scanlon reflected upon their commitment to fostering international leadership and the enduring friendship between Ireland and the United States.

Rep. Mike Kelly said at the announcement:

“As co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Ireland Caucus, I am honored to announce the incoming Class of Washington Ireland Program Emerging Leaders. We have had WIP interns in our office for many years and many of them have gone on to pursue careers in public service. I am proud of the role that the United States has played in the peace process in Northern Ireland and Ireland and I commend the Washington Ireland Program for their work in investing in new generations of leaders to sustain that peace.”

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon added:

“Congratulations to the Washington Ireland Program for 30 years of inspiring new generations of leaders to build peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland. The Washington Ireland Program plays a unique role in strengthening and reinvigorating the ties between Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the US, and I am proud to support its work. I look forward to meeting the Class of 2024 this summer and welcoming another intern to my office.”

Nicola Skelly, Executive Director of the Washington Ireland Program said:

“We are thrilled to launch the WIP Class of 2024 today in Washington DC with our special guests. Over the year ahead, these emerging leaders will develop their leadership skills through personal development, policy debate, work placement opportunities, and service. They will have unparalleled access to global leaders through our Speaker Series and will be challenged to develop ambitious ideas which shape the future of the island of Ireland.”

“The relationships these young people will build with each other, and the broader WIP community will be formative in their lives, and we are proud to be part of their leadership journey.”


The Washington Ireland Program supports, inspires, and develops leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds who are committed to building a future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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