Executive director of the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, the national coordinating group for organizations providing services to Irish and other immigrant groups throughout the U.S., Sheila Gleeson can call two places home -- Athy, County Kildare and Boston.
Gleeson left Ireland in 1984 with her baby daughter and husband, and since then has devoted her career to help other Irish immigrants. The University College Dublin and Boston College graduate is grateful for the opportunities afforded to her in the U.S, and wishes they could be afforded to the immigrants of today.
“In my work with immigrants over the past 20 years, I have met so many people who cannot achieve their full potential or contribute their skills and talents to their communities because they lack the proper legal status,” says Gleeson, who hopes for immigration reform.
Gleeson still feels connected to Ireland thanks to her family ties to Ireland and the Irish community in Boston, which has helped make her feel at home in the U.S.
She is married to Tony Keegan, and they have two children, Sinead and Kieran.
Return to Women of Influence