Interview with Vince McCarthy, Ireland United States Alumni Association

President of the IUSA and newly elected member of the Board of Directors of ENAM

Mr. McCarthy, you were recently elected member of the new Board of Directors of the European Network of American Alumni Associations - ENAM. What motivated you to apply for the position and what do you hope to achieve in your term?

I was very fortunate to be awarded a place on the U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program in 2014 and, following my return to Ireland, I have been serving on the Board of Directors of the Ireland United States Alumni Association (IUSA) to help advance U.S.- Irish relations. My time on the IVLP and with the IUSA has shown me the importance of the U.S. relationship with Ireland and Europe.

The person to person links that the U.S. State Department exchange programs create are invaluable to connecting Europe and the U.S. and ENAM has a key role to play in supporting the transatlantic relationship. I attended the ENAM Spring Bootcamp at the start of this year and saw the importance of its work. This motivated me to apply for a position on the ENAM Board of Directors.

In my term on the Board of Directors, I hope to develop the systems within ENAM to allow us to scale our work in a sustainable way and identify the impact ENAM is having on alumni associations across Europe.

You are a member of the Ireland US Alumni Association. Could you please say something more about your organization's history, membership and activities?

The IUSA was setup over seven years ago with the goal of promoting U.S.-Irish relations and developing the next generation of leaders in the U.S.-Irish relationship. We are a network of over 200 alumni of U.S. State Department exchange programs, including participants of Fulbright Scholarships, International Visitor Leadership Program, J1 and the Washington Ireland Programme.

I am currently the President of the IUSA and we host a number of events every year, including receptions, leaders breakfasts and networking events. Our flagship event the IUSA Conference and Alumni Awards takes place next month on January 24th with over 100 leaders in Irish society converging to provide vision for the year ahead, discuss the US-Irish relationship and celebrate the contribution of prominent and emerging IUSA Alumni. The conference title is 'Looking forward: U.S.-Irish Relations, New Europe and New Challenges' and we have some exciting speakers lined up for this year, including a journalist from the Financial Times and senior Irish academics. The very popular IUSA Alumni Awards for Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader will be presented on the evening and they express appreciation to the individuals honoured and raise public awareness of the critical role played by alumni of U.S. exchange programmes in Irish society today.

Mr. McCarthy, you work as a CEO of a company with a very interesting name. What does your company do?

I am the Co-founder and CEO of The Festival of Curiosity, which is the official legacy to Dublin being the European Capital of Science in 2012. The inaugural Festival of Curiosity took place in 2013 and it is Dublin’s annual international festival of science, arts, design and technology. From Playful Days (family programme) to Curious Nights (adult programme) we create, produce and curate unique, visual and interactive cultural experiences in Dublin that merge cutting-edge technology, design, arts and science in playful, immersive and curious ways.

The Festival of Curiosity takes a brand new, innovative and research-led approach to audience participation and engagement in science, arts, design and technology for all ages and has sold out every year since its inception. With over 55,000 attendees each year across 14 venues in Dublin City Centre, the festival is Ireland’s annual celebration at the intersection of art, science, technology and design and has quickly grown to be one of the most exciting and innovative festivals of its kind in Europe.

Interviewed by Sanja Gichevska - Dokmanovic


Bulding bridges of cooperation
between the United States and Macedonia