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Fulbright Commission Board

The Fulbright Commission’s eight-person board is appointed by the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with members from both Ireland and the U.S.

U.S. Members

Ms Aleisha Woodward, Director of  Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Dublin

Since joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1998, Aleisha has worked as a Public Diplomacy Officer in Tokyo, a Consular Officer in London, Cultural and Press Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moldova, and Consul General in Perth, Australia.  In Washington DC, she has worked in the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands and as a Senior Watch Officer in the Department of State’s Operations Center. Aleisha received undergraduate and graduate degrees in international relations from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.  In 2010, she was awarded a master’s degree in national security strategy at the U.S National War College. Aleisha speaks Russian, Japanese, and Romanian. She can also shop in Spanish and French.

Ms. Jen McAndrew, Deputy Director of Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Dublin

Since joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009, Jen has worked as a Consular Officer for the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, and as a Cultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad where she directed the Mission’s $3.1 million Alumni Engagement Fund, in partnership with the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP). Prior to joining the State Department, Jen was the Editor of The University of Texas at Austin, College of Liberal Arts’ alumni magazine, and was a Senior Book Publicist with a literary PR agency. She earned a B.A. in Irish Studies from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and an M.A. in Mass Communication from Texas State University in San Marcos.

Mr Michael Kirby, Senior Partner, Meehan Tully & Associates Ltd.

Michael has 20 years’ general management and consultancy experience working in the private sector in the U.S., England, and Ireland. Michael holds a B.A. from Villanova University, a M.A. in International Relations from St. John’s University, New York, and a MBA from Trinity College Dublin. Michael also served six years on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps; he retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Major after 20 years.

Prof. Diane Negra Professor of Film Studies & Screen Culture, and Head of Film Studies at UCD

A member of the Royal Irish Academy, Diane is the author, editor or co-editor of ten books including What a Girl Wants?: The Reclamation of Self in Postfeminism (2008) and Extreme Weather and Global Media (with Julia Leyda, 2015). Her work in media, gender and cultural studies has been widely influential and recognized with a range of research awards and fellowships. She currently serves as Co-Editor-in- Chief of Television and New Media. An in-demand speaker with a long track record of editorial board service for journals including Screen, Film Quarterly and The Velvet Light Trap, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and currently serves on the Board for Console-ing Passions. An American academic trained at the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Negra has been based in the UK and Ireland since 2002.  She was Fulbright Professor at the University of Gdansk in 1999-2000.

Irish Members

Dr Anne Cleary, Research Fellow in the Geary Institute for Public Policy, UCD

Anne is a sociologist and Lecturer Emerita in the School of Sociology, UCD.  She has been a board member of the Health Research Board, the Irish representative on the International Social Survey Programme, and she is currently Chairperson of the Research Ethics Committee of the Growing Up in Ireland study which is tracking 18,000 children into adulthood.  Her work has been funded by the Irish Research Council and other government agencies and recent publications include a Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine (Canetto & Cleary, 2012), a follow-up study of men who attempted suicide (Cleary, 2016) and an analysis of the work of the American sociologist, Arlie Hochschild (Cleary, 2015).  In 2009 she was the recipient of a Fulbright Award to the University of California,  Berkeley.  Having served as Treasurer and Vice-President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association, she is now President of the IFAA.  She is a board member of the Ireland United States Alumni Association (IUSA) and Chairperson of their Awards Committee.

Prof. John Hegarty

John has just completed a ten year term as Provost of Trinity College Dublin. He has over 30 years experience in both Europe and the U.S. and has been involved in high-level research and teaching. He has published 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals, has five patents, and created a photonics company. As a PhD graduate in Physics from the National University of Ireland, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a member of the Royal Irish Academy, and has honorary degrees from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster.

Dr Sarah Ingle, Secretary General of the Association of Consulting Engineers Ireland

Sarah is currently Secretary General of the Association of Consulting Engineers Ireland. In 2006 Sarah was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Arizona State University and in 2013 she was elected President of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association, a position she held until Summer 2015. She has served as Director of Quality Promotion in Dublin City University (DCU) and senior lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development at DCU’s Business School. Sarah graduated from DIT Bolton Street in 1986, the first woman to complete the Bachelors degree in Production Engineering, and has worked as a Chartered Engineer with several multi-national companies in Ireland.

Dr Thomas Wright, Fellow, Brookings Institution

Thomas Wright is a Fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Managing Global Order Project. Thomas has a PhD in Government from Georgetown University, a M.Phil. in International Studies from Cambridge University, and a B.A. and M.A. from University College Dublin. At Brookings, he works on U.S. foreign policy, emerging powers, the Eurocrisis, and multilateral diplomacy.