For the seventh annual Global Young Leaders Summit over 150 Young Leaders from around the globe gathered in the nation’s capital, Washington DC. Young Leaders travelled from across the US, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
The series of events began with a meeting of the Steering Committee Chairs. This was followed by a welcome reception for those attending the Summit for the first time.
The Summit then officially started at the Embassy of Ireland. Diplomat Brian Cahalane, Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO of The Ireland Funds, and John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America welcomed the Young Leaders to the Summit.
The Friday working session was held in Newseum. Kieran McLoughlin & Pat Tully welcomed guests and spoke of the theme of the Summit which was built around three key pillars-relevance, connectivity and engagement. Will Reeve, Board Member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, then delivered an inspirational keynote. He spoke of the importance of overcoming challenges and giving back beginning at a young age.
The morning then moved into a riveting panel discussion on Irish America’s contribution to service and philanthropy in the United States. The panel was moderated by Chair of the DC Young Leaders, John McCarthy, with panelists: Mark Shriver, President, Save the Children; Kevin Madden, Partner, Hamilton Place Strategies; Jessica Curtis, Executive Director, GOPAC; and Carmel Martin, Consultant, Center for American Progress.
The service panel was followed by a detailed discussion on the future of The Ireland Funds. Kieran McLoughlin opened the discussion by giving an overview on the work of the Long-Range Planning Committee, followed by the Chair of the Long-Range Planning Committee, Gene McQuade, then detailed the work of the committee. Following his remarks Gene opened the conversation up to a panel discussion with fellow Committee members; Shaun Kelly, Global Chief Operating Officer, KPMG International; Bart Murphy, Director, Murphy Investments; Angela Moore, Managing Director, Ravensdale Capital Investments LLC; and Rory Godson, Founder & CEO, Powerscourt.
After lunch, Jim McCann, Founder & CEO of 1800 Flowers conducted a keynote fireside chat with Meredith Merrill, Publisher of Capitol File Magazine. Jim spoke about his Irish-American roots in Queens, NY, his own entrepreneurial journey and how that success led to his with own philanthropy.
Young Leaders then attended a cocktail reception in the Foreign Affairs Committee Room.
The evening reception in AJAX was attended by special guest Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC and House of Cards star, Michael Kelly. Chris and Michael hosted an entertaining conversation about their Irish-American heritage. The evening concluded with an after-party at The Fainting Goat.
The Saturday session was hosted at Uber’s East Coast Headquarters. Kieran McLoughlin opened the session by announcing some exciting staff changes with Cliona Doyle moving into the role of Director of The Young Leaders in America and Pat Tully moving on to a role as Vice President of Development.
DC Young Leader and Director of Government Affairs at Uber, Patrick Lyden then welcomed guests to their offices and introduced the Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, Norman Houston. Norman gave a fascinating insight into the social landscape in Northern Ireland.
This was followed by a panel on today’s media moderated by Susan Davis, Chairman, Susan Davis International and Board Member of The Ireland Funds America. The panel included Suzanne Lynch, Washington Correspondent for The Irish Times; Hadas Gold, Reporter, European Politics, Media and Business, CNN; Olivia Nuzzi, Washington Correspondent, New York Magazine; and Tom Fitzgerald, Reporter, FOX News, Washington, DC. This discussion touched on fake news, the #MeToo movement and the changing landscape of today’s media.
The afternoon session was the State of the Young Leaders address, led by Pat Tully, followed by Cliona Doyle, and Siobhán Gallagher. It was announced that the Global Young Leaders had exceeded their global target of raising $1 million in 2017. Caitriona Fottrell, Vice President and Director Ireland of The Ireland Funds, then gave an overview on the charitable sector in Ireland and highlighted some of The Ireland Funds’ flagship projects including Blossom Ireland, the Integrated Education Fund, The Irish Men’s Sheds Association and Food Cloud.
The closing party was held in the stunning Smithsonian American Art Museum. Kieran McLoughlin opened the evening, followed by John Fitzpatrick who thanked the Young Leaders for their time and energy throughout the Summit. The keynote dinner speaker was Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States Dan Mulhall. Ambassador Mulhall delivered and engaging speech on Ireland – it’s history, and future. This was followed by ‘The Youngies’, more infamous than famous!
The Summit was concluded with ‘The Ryder Cup of Bowling’ at Pinstripes Georgetown, with Young Leaders the non-Irish born taking home the trophy.
Sincere and deep thanks to all speakers, Global Young Leaders who travelled to Washington DC, DC Steering Committee Chair John McCarthy, and DC Young Leaders Patrick Lyden and Kevin Murphy.
Remarks by Ambassador Dan Mulhall at the Ireland Funds Young Leaders Dinner
Ireland’s horizon for our 2nd century of independence: Remarks at the Young Leaders Dinner, Washington DC, 27 January 2018