If you thought Samantha Power was the only red-haired Irish American likely to be involved in U.S. foreign policy at the highest level think again.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Harvard professor Meghan O’Sullivan, 45, every bit as highly qualified as UN Ambassador Power, is the frontrunner when it comes to guiding Jeb Bush’s foreign policy.
The woman has serious form on Northern Ireland, most recently when she acted as vice chair during the Richard Haass-led talks in the North that formed the framework for the breakthrough Stormont agreement last Christmas.
Such involvement in an Irish issue by a potential future secretary of state is very important from the Irish perspective.
The graph showing action following U.S. interventions in the North is very clear.
The message is that U.S. involvement works and if there is to be a Bush presidency, as some calculate, having an Irish hand in a key foreign policy position is very important.
Her resume reads like a gilded glide to power. It states “Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick professor of the Practice of International Affairs and director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
“Her expertise includes the geopolitics of energy, decision making in foreign policy, nation-building, counterinsurgency, and the Middle East. From July 2013-December 2013, she served as the vice chair of the all-party talks in Northern Ireland, which sought to resolve on-going obstacles to peace.
“Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan during the last two years of her tenure.
“There, she helped run two strategic policy reviews: one on Afghanistan in the summer of 2006 and one on Iraq in late 2006 and early 2007, which led to the surge strategy. She spent two years in Iraq, most recently in the fall of 2008 to help conclude the security agreement and strategic framework agreement between the United States and Iraq.”
Wow. During her time in Iraq she was known as one of the very few who moved outside the Green Zone, traveling in disguise to many parts of the country to see for herself.
Her hotel room was also fired on and she narrowly escaped injury.
The Wall Street Journal reported about Bush that “the former Florida governor is considering naming Meghan O’Sullivan as his top foreign-policy aide; several people familiar with the deliberations describe her as the front-runner for the post.”
Her close relationship with Haass, the former envoy to Ireland and now head of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations, and her previous role in the Northern Irish peace talks makes it clear that Ireland would have a friendly voice at the highest level of a Bush administration. That can only be good news.