Check out some highlights from another exciting year for the Washington Ireland Program
Section 1: Our Class of 2016
30 Inspiring Students
Selected through an open and competitive process, 30 students from 13 different Universities and Colleges joined us.  Their disciplines included New Media, Veterinary Medicine, Economics, Business, Law, English Literature, Medicine and the Fine Arts.  11 student met our economic criteria to receive additional financial support.
Learning through Service
Throughout their time in DC, and on their return home, the Class worked alongside our local community partners – including N Street Village, Life Pieces to Masterpieces, Cooperation Ireland, Future Voices Ireland and the Belfast Interface Project.  Over the year they delivered over 2,500 hours of voluntary service.
Joining DC Families
Central to each summer experience are our amazing community of host families – who open their homes and welcome our students in to their families.  2016 was no different with so many special times – bbqs, table quizes, karaoke nights and much more.
Learning from Leaders
Through debates, town hall meetings and WIP sessions – the students also learnt from their own differences.  With diverse backgrounds, communities and perspectives – regular and vigorous debates developed.  We were also delighted to work with other organizations, in particular our sister program for South African students (SAWIP), to learn from the experiences of peers.
Learning Professional Skills
Each student spends time with their US peers in work placements across DC, and in 2016 we were delighted to work with 10 different Congressional and Senate offices.  Students also gained valuable skills at leading businesses, advocacy groups, federal agencies and unions.
Learning from each other
Throughout the summer, students had the opportunity to learn from inspiring leaders about their work, their career journeys, the mistakes they had made and lessons they had learnt.  Speakers included Tom Wheeler (Chairman, FCC), Stephanie Cutter (former Assistant to President Obama for Special Projects), Michael Dowling (CEO, Northwell Health) to name a few.
Building in NYC
The Class of 2016 completed a special week in New York – meeting leaders in business, diplomacy and the arts.  Guests included Irish Consul General Barbara Jones, acclaimed poet Paul Muldoon.  Business leaders included Deirdre O’Connor, Adrian Jones, Caroline O’Sullivan, Grainne McNamara and John Donoghue to name a few.  A full report on our New York Program is available here.

“There is something truly special about the connection between Ireland and America. Exemplified by the many young people on the Washington Ireland Program I have met over many years.”

Vice President Biden

June 23rd 2016, Trinity College Dublin, hear VP Biden's Remarks

Section 2: Our Alumni Community
Claire Sugden (WIP 2010) Minister for Justice
WIP was delighted when Claire Sugden (WIP Class of 2010 & 2012) was nominated as Northern Ireland’s Minister for Justice at the age of 29.  You can see Claire talk about the impact of WIP on her life and career here.
Alumni service leadership at home

Throughout the year, the WIP Alumni community is active in coming together to serve others at home.  Partners in this work include the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building, Cooperation Ireland, the US Embassy Dublin and the US Consulate in Belfast.  Below are a sampling of some of the images from WIP Community events.

 

Alumni elected in Northern Ireland and Ireland in 2016

Section 3: Board and Governance

Board Retreat

WIP’s Board completed their first retreat to Northern Ireland and Ireland in 2016.  Key meetings in Dublin included with Martin Fraser (Secretary General of the Irish Civil Service). US Ambassador O’Malley, Lord Mayor of Dublin  Ni Dhalaigh, CEO of US Chamber of Commerce (Mark Redmond) and then Minister for Health, WIP Alumnus Leo Varadkar.

In Belfast meetings where held with representatives of the British, Irish and US Governments.  Northern Ireland was in the midst of elections, and meetings with local politicians were not possible.  Meetings and visits were held with leading community organizations Corrymeela, Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and Cooperation Ireland.

Throughout the Retreat Board Members met with WIP Alumni and participated in the Graduation of the WIP Class of 2015

Highlights from the Board Retreat