The University of Virginia Center for Politics in partnership with the International Residential College will host a public event featuring Her Excellency Anne Anderson, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States. Ambassador Anderson will discuss issues in Irish - U.S. relations, viewed through a JFK prism followed by questions from the audience.
Anne Anderson took up duty in Washington DC in August 2013. She is Ireland’s 17th Ambassador to the United States, and the first woman Ambassador
Ambassador Anderson was born in Ireland (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary) in 1952. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Politics from University College, Dublin, and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Kings Inns, Dublin. She entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972.
Following a range of assignments at home and abroad, she took up her first posting as Ambassador in 1995. Prior to her current assignment in DC, she served as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York (2009–2013); Ambassador to France (2005-2009); Ambassador to the European Union, Brussels (2001-2005); and Ambassador to the United Nations, Geneva (1995-2001)
During her Washington assignment, the Ambassador is particularly focussed on further strengthening Ireland-US economic, trade and investment links; highlighting Ireland’s interests in relation to reform of US immigration legislation; supporting US interest and engagement on key issues still to be fully addressed in Northern Ireland; and further deepening the vibrant cultural connections between the two countries.
Ambassador Anderson has undertaken a wide range of responsibilities in her assignments to date. Highlights of her multilateral work have included chairing the WTO Trade Policy Review Body (1996), the UN Commission on Human Rights (1999) and heading the Irish team in Brussels during Ireland’s EU Presidency in 2004 (she was awarded European Voice “Diplomat of the Year” in recognition of her Presidency role). During her New York assignment, she oversaw a review of the UN Peace-building machinery and was tasked by the President of the General Assembly with facilitating preparations for the 2013 UN Special Event on the Millennium Development Goals.
Ambassador Anderson’s particular focus at the UN was on development/human rights/gender equality issues. From her assignment in Brussels, she retains a keen interest in EU Affairs. As a former Ambassador in Paris, her involvement with France also continues.
A strong believer in public diplomacy, Ambassador Anderson regularly engages as a lecturer, moderator and panellist in academic, think tank, and business settings. During her New York assignment, such engagements included Fordham University, Columbia University, International Peace Institute, UN Association of New York, Academic Council of the United Nations. Since taking up her current assignment, she has addressed numerous think tanks both in DC and around the country as well as speaking at a wide range of universities, Chambers of Commerce, and other business networks.
Ambassador Anderson was awarded a Doctor of Laws (Honorary) by the National University of Ireland in December 2011. She was listed among Ireland’s “25 Most Powerful Women” by the Women’s Executive Network in 2015 and the “30 Irish Women You Need to Know“ by the Irish Times in March 2017. During the past year, she was honored with awards from University College Dublin (Alumnus of the Year: Arts and Humanities); Irish America magazine; the Flax Trust; the Irish International Immigration Center, Boston; and the Irish American Partnership. She was presented with the International Leadership Award by the Ireland Funds at its 25th National Gala in Washington DC in March 2017.