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Irish Institute's Mauro Joins State Department's STEM Delegation to Ireland and Northern Ireland

Robert Mauro (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Sean Smith | Chronicle Editor

Published: Feb. 6, 2014

Irish Institute Executive Director Robert Mauro traveled to Ireland and Northern Ireland recently as part of a US Department of State initiative that aims to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, promote entrepreneurship and increase overall economic growth.

Mauro was among a group of American entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, representatives from academia and civil society, and others with Irish affiliations that visited Limerick and Belfast Jan. 27-30 through the State Department’s Partnership Opportunity Delegations (POD) program. PODs were created by the Office of Global Partnerships at State to find solutions to global challenges through facilitating public-private connections.

Led by Andrew O’Brien, Secretary of State John Kerry’s special representative for global partnerships, Mauro and other POD members met with local government officials and private sector representatives in Limerick, and attended a forum on global technology sponsored by an Irish technology group.

The POD also met with public and private sector representatives in Belfast to talk about potential projects, partnerships and business opportunities. The visit included a discussion with members of Northern Ireland’s academic community and a trip to the Northern Ireland Science Park to hear from local public and civil society organizations and start-ups.

Mauro’s fellow delegates included former US Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Kane – now president and CEO of Sister Cities International – Worcester Polytechnic Institute Vice President and Dean for Academic Corporate Development Stephen Flavin, and Natalie Pregiborn, director of P3 intelligence for the non-profit Concordia.

“It was an honor to be part of this effort to help facilitate a transatlantic network that will mutually benefit the people of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the United States,” said Mauro. “The POD served as a venue for a diverse group of professionals to connect and enhance educational, economic and other kinds of opportunities across the Atlantic. This kind of activity is part of the core mission of the Irish Institute and the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College.

“The visit allowed us to strengthen ties between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US to help enhance exchange activities between these peoples, and to further the normalization process across Ireland and Northern Ireland.”