Ireland’s new Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson presented her credentials to President Obama on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in a traditional ceremony at the White House. She replaces former Ambassador Michael Collins.
Anderson was previously a permanent representative to the United Nations. She has already placed immigration reform and working on economic ties between Ireland and the US at the top of her agenda.
Anderson said she will work to increase the likelihood of Congress passing a Bill on immigration reform to aid undocumented Irish and others. The bill could legalize thousands of workers and provide a legal flow of workers in the future.
She is the first woman to hold her position but being the first lady to a post is not new to Anderson. She was the first lady in all of her previous positions. Before being a permanent representative to the UN, she was ambassador to France in 2005, representative at the European Union in Brussels in 2001, and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva in 1995. During her time in Geneva her primary work was on human rights and she served as the chair of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.
Anderson is excited for her new position. In an interview with the Irish Voice in July 2013 she said about the job, “I had hoped for it. It’s every diplomat’s dream to serve in Washington and I love the United States. I served in Washington in the mid-eighties for four years, so here I am 30 years later. I feel a tremendous sense of pride and privilege.”
She thinks that both countries have a lot to bring to the table. “Ireland is at the cutting edge in its conceptual thinking about world hunger and development issues, so when we work with the US on that we are co-leading something that is a shared agenda for us.” She added, “So I think that’s a very healthy place to be, and I look forward to working and building relationships that are beneficial to both Ireland and America.”
Obama hosted the Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony where Anderson was one of nine new diplomats. New ambassadors included Norway, Grenada and Guatemala.
Ireland has appointed more than 20 new Irish ambassadors in new posts in the past couple of weeks. New ambassadors have been appointed in capital cities including London and Beijing in addition to Washington. These ambassadors will promote Ireland’s economic interests in their respective locations.