Lunch with the President of Ireland

Categories: Past Events,Past Galway Events

CSCI is sponsoring the Chicago Council on Global Affair’s lunch with the President of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D. Higgins.

As a small open economy, Ireland was particularly impacted by the financial crisis which started in 2008. Following a period of  economic adjustment, the country is on its way to recovery, with employment growing and export levels now higher than before the crisis. Additionally, the Northern Ireland peace process has been an important pillar of the social and economic progress of Ireland, north and south. In his March 2014 visit to the island, former US President Bill Clinton urged all parties to “finish the job” that was started almost two decades ago with the Good Friday Agreement, and to move from peace to true reconciliation. As part of that journey, President Higgins will in April 2014 undertake the first ever State Visit to the United Kingdom by an Irish President, marking a highpoint of the Irish-British relationship. Join the Chicago Council, Chicago Harris, and President Michael D. Higgins for a discussion on the future of positive change and open dialogue in Ireland, and his new initiative aimed at generating a national discourse around ethics.

Established in 2005 by Chicago Harris, the King Abdullah II Annual Leadership Lecture features a prominent global leader and provides a catalyst for increasing scholarship and dialogue about important cross-border public policy challenges. The inaugural lecture was given by HM King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

His Excellency Michael D. Higgins is the ninth President of Ireland. Inaugurated in November 2011, he was directly elected by the people with the highest vote ever in a national election.  President Higgins previously served as Ireland’s first minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to 1997 where he had direct responsibility for the promotion of the Irish language and for the economic and social development of Irish-speaking areas in the State. He has also served as Labour Party spokesperson for foreign affairs in the Irish Parliament, founding member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, mayor of Galway on two occasions, and as member of the Seanad for nine years, and Dáil Éireann for 25 years. Prior to his career in public service, President Higgins was lecturer in political science and sociology in National University of Ireland, Galway, and in the United States. President Higgins studied at University College Galway, the University of Manchester, and Indiana University. He has campaigned for human rights worldwide and in 1992 was the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize from the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki. He is a writer and poet and has published two collections of essays and four collections of poetry.

11:45 a.m.: Registration
12:00 p.m.: Lunch, King Abdullah II Lecture, and discussion
1:30 p.m.: Adjournment

Members $50; Nonmembers $60. Reservations can be made on www.thechicagocouncil.org.