The Washington Ireland Program (WIP) has announced that 31 students from 16 different universities and institutions across the island of Ireland will make up the class of 2019

For more than two decades the WIP has brought together emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds for a transformative program of public service and leadership development.  Participants undertake work placements with prominent and influential offices and organizations, including congressional offices, international corporations, law firms, and media companies. During their time in the U.S., the students are hosted by American families who generously open their homes and allow participants to experience an authentic slice of American life.

In 2018 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, himself an alumnus of the program launched WIP’s first ever class in New York, and the program will again be placing participants in the city this year.

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At a recent event in the Union League Club in New York, WIP Forum advisers Mike Hanrahan (co-founder of and GM at Store No. 8) and Deirdre O’Connor (managing director at BlackRock) set out the challenges and opportunities for this year’s class, and the important role for WIP’s young leaders in maintaining and revitalizing the connection between Ireland and the United States.

Speaking at the event Ireland’s Deputy Consul General in New York Eimear Friel said, “The Washington Ireland Program is so important – because at the core of the program are aims and values that each one of us should be aspiring to emulate and that ultimately are about building a shared future of peace and prosperity.”

WIP’s Executive Director Bryan Patten commented, “As we mark our 25th  anniversary, WIP is determined to continue to be at the heart of shaping a positive future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland. Through our new program in New York, WIP will support a new generation through a transformative experience learning from global leaders in business, technology, and the arts.”

The program is still looking for families in the New York area to host students this summer. To find out more visit

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