Skip to Content


Queen’s academics named 2019 Island of Ireland Fellow by Eisenhower Fellowships

Two academics from Queen’s University Belfast have recently been named 2019 Island of Ireland Fellows by Eisenhower Fellowships.

Lanyon Building at Queen's University Belfast

Dr Katy Hayward, from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, and Professor Daithí Mac Síthigh, from the School of Law at Queen's University are part of a cohort of 14 highly accomplished leaders from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The cohort includes individuals from the fields of diplomacy, law enforcement, economics, religious affairs, environmental conservation and academia.  

The six-week Fellowship programme will see the Fellows travel across the US to engage in transformative exchanges of knowledge and ideas with respective experts in their fields. They will also pursue individual projects with real-world impact.

Dr Hayward will visit the US – Canada border to assess the role of increasingly sophisticated technology in the movement of goods between the two countries, and Professor Mac Síthigh will conduct research on law and technology focussing on smart cities, open data, and the sharing economy.

Welcoming the awards Professor Richard English, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation and Engagement at Queen's University, said: "I am delighted that two distinguished academics from Queen's University have been selected by Eisenhower Fellowships for this prestigious leadership programme. This programme will build positive relations and connections between individuals from Northern Ireland, Ireland and the US."

Named after the 34th president of America, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Eisenhower Fellowships is a non-profit organisation which brings together innovative leaders from all fields across the globe who tackle big challenges to better the world around them.

The 2019 Island of Ireland Program marks the 30th anniversary of Eisenhower Fellowships 1989 Single-Area Program for Ireland and Northern Ireland that first brought together Fellows from both sides of the Irish border. That programme forged relationships of trust that helped support an end to the island's conflict.

Eisenhower Fellowships Chairman, former US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, commented: "The first Ireland Program in 1989 was a remarkable, historic success story. The 2019 Island of Ireland Program is extraordinarily timely, relevant and exciting."

Tánaiste Simon Coveney, Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and its deputy prime minister, welcomed the Eisenhower Fellowships initiative at this crucial time in the history of the island. He said: "The Fellows chosen are outstanding individuals, accomplished in their own fields, and this is a superb opportunity to further develop their personal leadership skills while working together to strengthen the bonds on the island, and between Ireland and the United States."

David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, said it provides "unique opportunities for individuals to develop their leadership skills and build connections with others that can only be of benefit to us all in the future."

The Island of Ireland Program has been supported by funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and KPMG Ireland.

The full list of 2019 Island of Ireland Fellows include:

  • Nicola Brady – General Secretary, Irish Council of Churches (ICC) and Irish Inter-Church Meeting (IICM)
  • Seamus Coffey – Chairperson, Irish Fiscal Advisory Council (IFAC)
  • Thomas Conefrey – Manager, Structural Macroeconomic Modelling and Analysis, Irish Economic Analysis (IEA) Division, Central Bank of Ireland (CBI)
  • Eimear Cotter – Director, Office of Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Ireland
  • Joseph Curtin – Senior Fellow, Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA)
  • Katy Hayward – Reader in Sociology, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen's University Belfast
  • Sonja Hyland – Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia, South Sudan, Djibouti, the African Union and IGAD, Embassy of Ireland
  • Daithí Mac Síthigh – Professor of Law and Innovation, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast
  • Ronan MacNioclais – Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Ireland
  • Brendan Quail – Regional Project Manager - Vulnerable Syrian Refugee Consortium (VSRC), Bryson Intercultural
  • Christine Robinson | Northern Ireland – Head of Strategy, Policy and Partnerships, Belfast City Council
  • Stephen Rusk – Private Secretary to the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, The Executive Office, Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS)
  • Katie Taylor – Deputy Director, Community Safety Division (CSD), Department of Justice, Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS)
  • Neil Ward – Head of Corporate Affairs (Principal Officer), Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service (INIS), Department of Justice and Equality

For more information, please visit: