Six Queen’s students have been selected for the prestigious Washington Ireland Programme (WIP) 2017 to build the next generation of leaders across Northern Ireland and Ireland.

They are among thirty students to be selected from hundreds of applicants for the twelve-month leadership program.

The program includes a two-month placement in Washington D.C. where students gain experience in an area matched to their skills and interests. Previous students have interned in the offices of the then U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Cordelia McGeown, a History and International Relations student said, “WIP offers students a real opportunity to make a difference in this world, to make connections and networks. I’m delighted to have been offered this opportunity and will definitely make the most out of it.”

Robert Murtagh, who studies Politics, Philosophy and Economics said: “I’m really excited to be selected for this program and I hope that through this experience I will develop the skills to be able to move NI forward from a post-conflict society to a society that celebrates diversity, and that puts equality of all people at the fore. I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how change happens, learning from those who have been at the heart of making that difference.”

Community involvement is at the heart of the program and for the majority of WIP alumni, this extends far beyond a year-long commitment. Philip Murray, a WIP alumni who graduated from Queen’s in 2012 said: “Being part of WIP really helped me to think more about how I can play an active role in my community. I learned so much through the program and I’m glad I can use the skills and connections made to contribute positively to the community.”

Prominent Alumni include members of the Irish Government, Northern Irish Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly. WIP alumni from Queen’s University include former Justice Minster Claire Sugden and former DUP MLA Emma Pengelly.

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