Ambassador Anne Anderson on “Ireland, the U.S., and Europe: A 21st Century Perspective”

Anne Anderson took up duty in Washington DC in August 2013. She is Ireland’s first woman Ambassador to the United States. Prior to her Washington appointment, she was Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

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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 entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1972. Her previous postings include:

  • 2009-13 Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, New York
  • 2005-09 Ambassador to France (concurrently non-resident Ambassador to Monaco)
  • 2001-05 Permanent Representative of Ireland to the European Union, Brussels
  • 1995-01 Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations, Geneva
  • 1991-95 Assistant Secretary General, Corporate Services, Department of Foreign Affairs
  • 1987-91 Counsellor, Anglo-Irish Division, Department of Foreign Affairs
  • 1985-87 Press Attaché, Embassy of Ireland, Washington DC
  • 1983-85 Economic Attaché, Embassy of Ireland, Washington DC
  • 1980-83 First Secretary, Political Division, Department of Foreign Affairs
  • 1976-80 First Secretary, Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Geneva
  • 1972-76 Third Secretary, later First Secretary, Economic Division, Department of Foreign Affairs

During her Washington assignment, the Ambassador will particularly focus 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 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 this year’s 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 – she returns regularly and speaks fluent French.

A strong believer in public diplomacy, Ambassador Anderson has been active – particularly throughout her assignment in New York – as a lecturer, moderator, and panellist in academic and think tank settings (including Fordham, Columbia, International Peace Institute, UN Association of New York, Academic Council of the United Nations).

Ambassador Anderson was awarded a Doctor of Laws (Honorary) by the National University of Ireland in December 2011.

RECORDED: Friday, June 26, 2015 at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel

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