Susan Hoffman, the immediate past president of the DC Bar, has been named as the new Chair of the Washington Ireland Program, with several other high-profile figures also joining the Program’s Board.

Prominent Washington, DC lawyer Susan Hoffman, who specializes in human rights issues affecting women and children, will lead the Washington Ireland Program’s Executive team alongside new Vice-Chair Charles John O’Byrne, Executive Vice President for Policy for one of America’s largest private real-estate developers.

Hoffman will lead the Board’s delivery of its mission to develop, support, and engage leaders who can build constructive relationships between communities across the island of Ireland. 

📢WIP News📢
The Washington Ireland Program is delighted to announce the news of our new Board appointments today!

The WIP board provides leadership to shape and realize WIP'S vision while supporting our overall mission. You can find out more here👉

— Washington Ire. Prog (@WIPLive) May 17, 2021

Since 1995, the Washington Ireland Program has provided over 750 participants the opportunity to work in the likes of the US Congress and Senate, high profile companies, and major advocacy organizations. The six-month program sees young leaders from across Ireland and Northern Ireland engage in conversations with global leaders across a wide variety of sectors and take part in a renowned leadership development curriculum.

Notable Program alums include the Tánaiste and former Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, and prominent Stormont representatives including Chris Lyttle MLA and Claire Sugden MLA.

The WIP Class of 2021 will see over 100 students participate in a hybrid program of virtual and in-person activities including work placements, speaker sessions, and meetings with senior US leaders in Dublin and Belfast. Over 400 young people will also take part in the 2021 Forums where they will tackle the major questions facing Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Elsewhere in new appointments for the WIP, Amy Dacey and Jess O’Connell, former CEOs of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), have been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Program.  

Belfast-based Women’s Sector Lobbyist Rachel Powell also joins the Program’s Board responsible for overseeing WIP’s work in Northern Ireland, Ireland, and America.

Rachel Powell, Washington Ireland Program Board Member.

Rachel Powell, Washington Ireland Program Board Member.

Catherine May, General Counsel for Bank of America Europe, and John McCarthy, General Counsel for US investment firm Wicklow Capital, also join the leadership team.

B.R. McConnon III will step down as WIP Chair and Carmel Martin exits the Board to take up her position in the White House Administration.

Jen O’Malley Dillon, President Biden’s Campaign Manager, will also leave the Board as she was recently appointed White House Deputy Chief of Staff.

Susan Hoffman, the newly-appointed Chair of the Washington Ireland Program, said: “As a long-time supporter, Board member, and ‘Host Mom’, I am thrilled to be appointed Chair of the Washington Ireland Program. 

“In recent years, I have seen first-hand the impact the Program has on young people and their futures. Its outstanding professional, personal, and leadership development curriculum continues to produce the next generation of change-makers in Ireland and Northern Ireland who are determined to build a future of peace and prosperity.”

“In my legal career, I have always sought to promote accessibility into the legal profession and support the next generation. The 2021 WIP Class will develop over 100 emerging leaders from across the island in the most unique, diverse program to date and, at this challenging time, I am very proud to support the Program’s important and exciting work.”

“I would like to thank outgoing Board Chair, B.R. McConnon III, and Vice-Chair, Carmel Martin, for their hard work and commitment to the Program. The new Board appointments include exciting, forward-looking women at the top of their legal and political fields.

"I look forward to working with new Vice-Chair, Charles John O’Byrne, the new Board and the wider WIP community as we continue to grow the Program in years to come.”

Charles John O’Byrne, new Vice-Chair of the Washington Ireland Program, said: “It is a great honour to be appointed Vice-Chair of the Washington Ireland Program. 

“I am very proud to support the remarkable work the Program continues to do in developing Northern Ireland and Ireland’s young leaders. Susan shares my full commitment to the Program and its values, and I look forward to working with her and the new Board as we look to the bright future of WIP.”

Charles Josh O'Byrne, Vice Chair of the Washington Ireland Program.

Charles Josh O'Byrne, Vice Chair of the Washington Ireland Program.

Amy Dacey, Executive Director of the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics at American University, former CEO of the DNC, and Washington Ireland Program Board Member, said: “I am delighted to be joining the Washington Ireland Program Board. Inclusion and accessibility into politics is crucial, and WIP continues to broaden opportunity to young people from all backgrounds with the 2021 Class its most unique and diverse to date. 

“There are lessons to be learnt from Irish, Northern Irish, and American history, and I look forward to the chance to meet Program participants and hear their views on how we progress in the years to come.”

Amy Dacey, Washington Ireland Program Board Member.

Amy Dacey, Washington Ireland Program Board Member.

Bryan Patten, Executive Director of the Washington Ireland Program, added: “We are very pleased to announce our new Board Chair, Vice Chair and new Board appointments today. 

“As Board members, Susan, and Charles John’s dedication to the WIP’s success has been invaluable in the continued growth of the Program. They will lead a prestigious team at the top of their respective professions across Northern Ireland, Ireland, and America including leading women such as Amy.

"I look forward to working with the new Board as we look forward to welcoming the exciting WIP Class of 2021 later this year.”

You can learn more about the Washington Ireland Program on its website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.