Washington Ireland Program announces new board Chair

By Business & Finance
21 February 2024
Pictured (from l-r): Charles John O’Byrne; Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs, Joe Kennedy III; Susie Hoffman, and Nicola Skelly.

Charles O’Byrne has been elected as the fifth Chair of the Washington Ireland Program Board of Directors in the organisation’s 30-year history.

O’Byrne takes over from Susie Hoffman who is stepping down as Chair after 3 years of service. Hoffman will continue her service on the WIP Board. He has been a member of the WIP Board since 2019 and is currently Executive Vice President for Policy at Related Companies where he serves in a leadership role on government affairs at the federal, state, and local levels, and on labour issues, litigation matters, and questions of strategy on multiple projects within the Related portfolio.

Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States, noted Ireland’s strong and longstanding support of WIP: “Susie Hoffman has been a wonderful Chair of the WIP Board. I particularly commend Susie for her skill and tenacity as she led the organisation through the challenging pandemic years. With Charles O’Byrne’s experience and deep commitment to the island of Ireland, I know that the Washington Ireland Program will continue its great work.”

Long active in charitable and philanthropic works, O’Byrne also serves on the boards of the American Irish Historical Association, Citizens Union, the Steering Committee of ABNY, and as a Trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission.

Newly elected Chair of the WIP Board, Charles O’Byrne said,“WIP does an outstanding job of developing future and current leaders across the island of Ireland who play a key role in forging new horizons. Susie Hoffman deserves our thanks and appreciation for her outstanding leadership of the WIP Board, leading our organisation through the challenges of the pandemic while initiating new and vital programs.  I am honoured and humbled to be asked to continue this important work.”

Andrew Elliott, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, commented,“I am delighted to welcome Charles O’Byrne to this important position, and I wish him well as he takes over the helm from Susie Hoffman, who has done such a wonderful job as Chair. Charles O’Byrne’s extensive experience, combined with his commitment to strengthen peace and prosperity in Northern Ireland, makes him very well placed to make a positive difference to WIP. I wish him every success.”

The WIP Board has also selected two new Vice Chairs: Patrick McGlone, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Ullico Inc; and Michelle Larmour, leadership consultant and international strategic police advisor.

For three decades, the Washington Ireland Program has played an important role in post-conflict Northern Ireland and Ireland by bringing together leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds for outstanding leadership and skills-development programs. WIP’s aim is to support, inspire, and develop leaders who are committed to building a future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

WIP has a diverse community of over 900 Alumni who are delivering on that vision – including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Class of 2000), deputy First Minister Emma Little Pengelly MLA (Class of 2002), and Leader of the Opposition Matthew O’Toole MLA (Class of 2004). The WIP Alumni community also includes award winning journalists, tech entrepreneurs, and artists.

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