Washington Ireland Program Autumn Reception 2023 – Joe Kennedy III, Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, Awarded the Spirit of WIP

Washington, D.C.  – On Wednesday, November 15th, friends and supporters of the Washington Ireland Program gathered at Crowell’s DC offices to celebrate the annual WIP Autumn Reception.  

WIP was proud to honor Joe Kennedy III, Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, with the Spirit of WIP Award. This award was presented in recognition of the Special Envoy’s commitment to public service, his leadership role in the Irish-American community on Capitol Hill, and his work in strengthening peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland in his current role as Special Envoy.

In his acceptance speech, Special Envoy Kennedy remarked, “My grandfather often called politics an “honorable profession.” The “tiny ripples of hope” he famously talked about in his 1966 speech to students in South Africa don’t always guarantee fame, fortune or success but they always guarantee the advancement of the human spirit. It is that spirit that animates the Washington Ireland Program. If, in some small way, my work touches on that mystical chord, then I will have done my job.

Special Envoy Kennedy closed his speech by saying “The island of Ireland’s greatest asset is its people. I am so proud to be recognized by an organization that does so much for so many in the pursuit of lasting peace and broader prosperity for all.”

We were glad to be joined by representatives from two of WIP’s supporter communities in Northern Ireland and Ireland

Provost of Ulster University, Prof. Cathy Gormley Heenan commented, “ that while we inherit our history, we choose our future. Over the years, WIP has chosen to help shape that future in a very profound way.” Prof Gormely Heenan compared creating a better future for our island to a relay. “With your support, the next WIP students will take the baton, and the amazing opportunities here help them to become the changemakers and leaders of tomorrow, delivering on the business of peacebuilding and public service each day.” 

One of WIP’s newest Corporate Partners, Ian Hyland of Ireland INC remarked, “WIP’s reputation for driving the very best of young leaders across the island of Ireland is outstanding, as evidenced by the quality of its alumni across many industries. Personally, and at Ireland INC, we see the value in WIP and their critical work because they are custodians of the next generation of talent, problem solvers, and change makers.” 

The event was generously hosted by WIP Board Chair Susie Hoffman. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us in person for the Reception and those who were with us in spirit. As we look towards WIP’s 30th anniversary year, we appreciate all the people who have chosen to support WIP through the years.   

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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