American business leader Craig Barrett has volunteered to help Ireland out of the economic recession currently strangling the board.
The former Intel chief executive has formally announced his offer to join the list of international executives offering to sit on Irish State boards free of charge.
Barrett was the man who introduced Intel to Ireland in the late 1980s. The world’s tech leader is now one of the countries biggest employers and most successful American imports.
Confirming his decision, Barrett told the Irish Times: “Ireland’s rebound in the world’s economy will be driven by smart people and smart ideas.
“The environment to successfully bring these two things together extends well beyond Irish soil and we must integrate the best of Irish innovation from around the world.
“There is an immense resource available and Ireland would be foolish not to take advantage of every ounce of it.”
The Barrett recruitment is a major success for the Irish Technology Leadership Group in California as it continues to recruit business people from around the world who want to help Ireland’s economy.
The project - originally titled Diaspora 2016 - has been rebranded Volunteer 2016 after criticism of the venture by Institute of Directors chief executive Maura Quinn and a refusal by the Irish Government to commit to hiring Diaspora 2016 members.
The Irish Times reports that Quinn said it would not be feasible to have international business people sitting on boards in Ireland.
The report says she also rejected the idea of selecting people based on their links to one group, saying board members should be selected according to their ability.
One American volunteer, former San José mayor Tom McEnery, called Quinn’s remarks “self-serving”.
ITLG founder John Hartnett has since spoken with the Irish government and resolved the issue in order to make it easier for the Irish abroad to get involved in the country’s recovery.
Hartnett told the paper: “They did make a change last year in that they will publicise the availability of board positions and make the process more transparent.
“That was a good step but how does someone in California or Australia find out about this or make an impact?”
”I suggested to the Government setting a target for how many Volunteer 2016 executives will make up State boards.
“We believe 25 per cent should be from outside of Ireland. There are 120 State boards in Ireland and obviously, we wouldn’t be in a position to help with most of them.
“The ones we want to focus on would be Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, and the Science Foundation of Ireland. Those are the boards our members could have the greatest impact.”
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