The IUSA Distinguished and Emerging Leader Awards took place on 26th January 2023.

The Emerging Leader Award 2023 goes to Dr. Amanda Drury while the Distinguished Leader Award goes to Mr. Fergus Finlay. The awards were sited by IUSA President Mr. Chris MM Gordon and presented by Ambassador Claire D. Cronin.

L to R: Mr. Chris MM Gordon, Dr. Amanda Drury, Ambassador Claire. D. Cronin

L to R: Mr. Chris MM Gordon, Mr. Fergus Finlay, Ambassador Claire D. Cronin

The following are the citations read on 26th January 2023.

Citation for the Distinguished Alumni Award

The IUSA Distinguished Alumni Award is?the highest honor bestowed by the?Ireland-United States?Alumni Association?(IUSA). The purpose of the award is to honor alumni of U.S. exchange programs who?have outstanding contributions to society and have demonstrated a commitment?to promoting the special relationship between?the?United States and Ireland.

I am incredibly honoured to present this year’s award to Fergus Finlay. Fergus is a household name here in Ireland for his incredibly admirable work.

Fergus was a Fulbright Irish Scholar to the University of Washington in 1977 and is currently a regular columnist for the Irish Examiner.   Fergus was the Chief Executive of the charity Barnardos in Irelanduntil 2018 and prior to this, he was a senior member of the Irish Labour Party. Having worked in government press secretarial roles in the 1980s, Fergus served as an adviser to Dick Spring from 1983 to 1997.  During this time, he was involved in campaigns that led to the election of Mary Robinson as president, and the dropping of the constitutional ban on divorce in 1996. Following this, Fergus had a storied career in public affairs and media, and was also credited with helping to organize the visit of the Special Olympics to Dublin in 2011.

Fergus has shown incredible leadership throughout his time advocating for children’s rights, and a better Ireland. We received some truly remarkable nominees for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award, however Fergus’s work speaks for itself, he is an incredible nominee and a worthy winner.

In recognition?of?his professional excellence,?his?commitment to the U.S.??– Irish relationship,?and?his?outstanding?contribution to society I am delighted to present Fergus Finlay with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Citation for Emerging Leader Award

In selecting the recipient of this year’s Emerging Leader Award, the committee looked for demonstrated potential for leadership in the candidate’s chosen profession, for a commitment to Ireland’s relationship with the United States and an outstanding contribution in service to society, the community or philanthropy.

All of those nominated for this year’s award excelled in these areas, but one particular nomination stood out from amongst the?others?for?her sustained commitment and tireless?efforts in cancer research and care across clinical and academic settings.

Dr. Amanda Drury is an Associate Professor in General Nursing at the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy, and Community Health, DCU.  Amanda was a Fulbright-HRB Health Impact Scholar Award to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in Spring 2022.

Fundamentally, her research aims to understand and enhance of the health and well-being of people affected by cancer, including the personal, social, and healthcare factors which influence cancer-related outcomes.  She has been an Executive Board Member of the European Oncology Nursing Society since 2019, and she has chaired the Society’s Young Cancer Nurses Network (2019-2021), and Research Working Group (2020-Present).  In September 2022 she was appointed as a member of the EU Cancer Mission Board.

Amanda has an incredible professional track record, and I am incredibly honoured to present this year’s award to her, a hugely worthy recipient – congratulations.