A native of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Kennedy moved to New York in 2009 when her now husband received a Fulbright scholarship. She works for the international aid agency GOAL USA.
What’s behind your move to New York?
“My husband, then boyfriend, Oran Kennedy received a Fulbright scholarship and asked me to move to New York City with him. I quit my job in Dublin just as the recession was really taking effect in Ireland and in the U.S. Thankfully everything all worked out on both personal and professional levels!”
Tell us about your job:
“I work for the international aid agency GOAL USA. GOAL was founded in Ireland in 1977 and has offices in New York and London with our headquarters in Dublin. Together we deliver life-saving assistance to nearly four million people in 14 countries around the world.
“I am the director of development in our New York office and I manage our communications and fundraising activities in the U.S. GOAL is a household name in Ireland but has a smaller presence here, so I’m excited to help grow our footprint. We have an amazing story to tell, and I tell it to anyone that listens to me!
“I wear very many hats so my average day consists of meeting with our supporters, planning events, developing strategic plans, liaising with our Board of Directors, composing communications materials with updates on our programs such as the Philippines, South Sudan, Syria and more.”
Our annual GOAL USA Benefit Ball that takes place in the fall in NYC also involves a lot of planning and partnerships. We are fortunate to receive support for our Ball from great organizations such as American Airlines and British Airways.
What advice do you have for younger Irish people starting out in America?
“Just do it. (I’m not working for Nike!) It can be a bit daunting at the start, especially when you may not know too many people. However, we have all been there and can relate to this so I would tell everyone to get out there and meet people, attend networking events, join wonderful groups such as the Ireland Funds, Irish Network, IBO and IIBN.
“The GOAL USA ball is a fantastic opportunity to meet people from all sectors and it’s so much fun (sorry I can’t help doing a little more promotion!) It’s also good to arrange informational meetings to ask for advice and get more ideas. I’m a connector and I’m always happy to meet people for a coffee and help in any way I can.”
What is the one thing you miss most about Ireland?
Favorite Irish food?
“Bacon and cabbage. You can take a girl from the country but you can’t take the country from the girl!”
Have you set any personal or work goals for 2014?
“My personal goals are to continue to enjoy married life and run more. Regarding work, I would like to continue to build the profile of GOAL USA, expand support for our events such as the GOAL ball, the GOAL mile, our New York City Marathon team and much more. Examples of types of support include: direct donations, become a monthly donor, participate in personal and or corporate fundraising events, offer in-kind support, host an event and learn more about getting involved as an advisory board member.”