Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Anne Anderson?
Anne Anderson presented her credentials as Ireland’s ambassador to the United States to President Barack Obama on September 17, 2013. It’s the fifth ambassadorial posting for Anderson, a career foreign service officer.
Anderson was born in July 1952 in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland. She moved with her family to Kilkenny, and then Dublin as her father, a psychiatric nurse, got different jobs. Anderson attended University College Dublin, graduating at age 19 with a B.A. in history and immediately started in the economic division of Ireland’s foreign service. She later earned a diploma in legal studies from King’s Inns.
Geneva was the site of Anderson’s first foreign posting, in 1976. She was part of the Irish mission to the United Nations. She was stationed there four years, although she worked for six months in Belgrade. In 1980, Anderson returned to Dublin to work on Eastern European issues as first secretary in the political division of the ministry of foreign affairs. Anderson’s first posting to the United States came in 1983, when she was economic attaché, then press attaché, at the Irish Embassy. Much of her time was spent explaining the 1985 Irish-Anglo accords to American audiences. Her daughter Claire was born in Washington during this period.
Anderson returned home in 1987 to serve as counselor in the Anglo-Irish division of the ministry. In 1991, she was made assistant secretary of administration, with ambassadorial rank, for the ministry and served in that position until 1995.
Anderson went back to Geneva, this time as head of Ireland’s mission to the UN. While there, she served for a year as chair of the UN Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001, Anderson moved to Brussels as the Irish representative to the European Union.
In 2005, Anderson was transferred to Paris as Ireland’s ambassador to France. During her time in this position, she organized an extensive renovation of the embassy, provoking some criticism back home over its cost. During part of this period, she was also accredited as Ireland’s ambassador to Monaco. Anderson moved to New York as the Irish ambassador to the United Nations, serving until taking the Washington post. Anderson is a frequent lecturer at U.S. universities.
Since becoming ambassador to the United States, Anderson has pushed for immigration reform. There are as many as 50,000 undocumented Irish in the U.S.
To Learn More:
Ireland’s First Female Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson (by Debbie McGoldrick, Irish Central)
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