Over 100 young leaders from across Northern Ireland and Ireland have been selected for the Washington Ireland Program’s largest ever Class, which launches today.
The prestigious Ireland-US leadership development programme usually involves 30 third-level education students per year. Making the best of current circumstances, the Program has expanded to 108 and, for the first time, also includes students with caring responsibilities who would not usually travel to the United States and those studying part-time courses.
Since 1995, the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) has enabled over 750 young leaders across the island of Ireland to work in the likes of the US Congress and Senate while staying with an American host family in Washington D.C. and New York City.
Previous students have interned in the offices of then Senators Barack Obama, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. Prior to arrival at the White House, the Program has been applauded by President Joe Biden in 2016 as an example of the “special” relationship between Ireland and America and praised by the House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2019.
The Program seeks students who demonstrate leadership potential, have a strong track record of service, and are committed to build a bright future for the island of Ireland. Notable Program alums include the Tánaiste and former Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD. A range of business leaders have also taken part in the programme.
The Class of 2021 will not travel state-side but will engage in a hybrid programme of work placements with prestigious international companies, learn from WIP’s renowned leadership development curriculum, and meet with senior global leaders in Dublin and Belfast before graduating in September. The diversity of the 2021 Class reflects the programme’s continued commitment to support and develop students from all backgrounds across Northern Ireland and Ireland.