Fulbright Commission Staff
Dr Dara FitzGerald
Dara is the Executive Director. He has a BSc and PhD in Biology & IT from Maynooth University and University College Cork, and has worked in IT and biomedical applications for 20 years. Dara has founded and headed up a number of companies and he acted as the US Federal Liaison for Enterprise Ireland in Washington DC and Dublin.
Ms Emma Loughney (on maternity leave)
Emma is the Communications Manager and an EducationUSA Advisor. She has a BA in Italian & Archaeology from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Cultural Policy & Arts Management from University College Dublin. Emma has worked in Communications and Project Management for over 10 years, she spent time working in New York before joining the Fulbright Commission in June 2014. She is Co-organiser of TEDxFulbrightDublin.
Rowan is the Communications Officer covering for Emma Loughney's maternity leave. He has a BA in Journalism from The University of Limerick. Rowan has worked in communications, marketing and video production since graduating in 2012, he spent time working in London before joining the Fulbright Commission in September 2020.
Ms Sonya McGuinness
Sonya is the Awards Manager and an EducationUSA Advisor, she has been with the Commission since 2002. Sonya has a B.A. from University College Dublin and an H.Dip. in Business and Information Technology from Michael Smurfit School of Business at University College Dublin.
Ms Paula Melvin
Paula is the Awards Programme Manager. In September 2018 Paula presented the Commission’s Irish Language activities in the U.S. to a Joint Committee of Teachtaí Dála and Senators in Dáil Éireann. She is a graduate of Dublin City University and has a Masters in Journalism and Communications through Irish from University College Dublin, where she subsequently taught Irish. Paula is Tánaiste (Vice President) of Conradh na Gaeilge and an alumna of the U.S. Embassy Dublin National Youth Council. Cuireann sí fáilte roimh chomhfhreagras trí Ghaeilge i gcónaí.
Ms Sara West
Sara is the Executive Assistant. A New Jersey native, she completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University, with a certificate from the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Sara completed her Masters in Children & Youth Studies at University College Dublin, focusing on children’s human rights and mindfulness practice in primary schools. Sara has worked over five years providing administrative services across the political, NGO and higher education sectors in the U.S. and Ireland.