Washington Ireland Program Announces New Board Chair

Washington, D.C.  –On February 13th, the Washington Ireland Program Board of Directors elected Charles John O’Byrne as WIP’s fifth Chair in the organization’s 30-year history.

O’Byrne has been a member of the WIP Board since 2019 and is currently Executive Vice President for Policy at Related Companies where he serves in a leadership role on government affairs on the federal, state and local levels; labor issues, litigation matters, and questions of strategy on multiple projects within the Related portfolio.

O’Byrne takes over from Susie Hoffman who is stepping down as Chair after 3 years of service. Hoffman will continue to serve on the WIP Board.

Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, noting Ireland’s strong and longstanding support of WIP, commented: “Susie Hoffman has been a wonderful Chair of the WIP Board. I particularly commend Susie for her skill and tenacity as she led the organization through the challenging pandemic years. With Charles O’Byrne’s experience and deep commitment to the island of Ireland, I know that the WIP will continue its great work.”

Long active in charitable and philanthropic works, O’Byrne also serves on the boards of the American Irish Historical Association, Citizens Union, the Steering Committee of ABNY and as a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.

“WIP is doing an outstanding job of developing future and current leaders across the island of Ireland who play a key role in forging new horizons”, O’Byrne said. “Susie Hoffman deserves our thanks and appreciation for her outstanding  leadership of the WIP Board, leading our organization through the challenges of the pandemic while initiating new and vital programs.  I am honoured and humbled to be asked to continue this important work.”

Andrew Elliott, the Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau commented, “I am delighted to welcome Charles O’Byrne to this important position and I wish him well as he takes over the helm from Susie Hoffman, who has done such a wonderful job as Chair. Charles O’Byrne’s extensive experience, combined with his commitment to strengthen peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland, makes him very well placed to make a positive difference to WIP. I wish him every success.”

The WIP board also selected two new Vice Chairs: Patrick McGlone, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Ullico Inc; and Michelle Larmour, leadership consultant and international strategic police advisor.

For three decades, the Washington Ireland Program 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 award winning journalists, tech entrepreneurs and artists. For more information, please visit www.wiprogram.org

Photo Caption: L – R: Charles John O’Byrne, Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs Joe Kennedy III, Susie Hoffman, and Nicola Skelly pictured at the WIP Autumn Reception in Washington DC in November 2023.

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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