Catholic University law school alumna Kristin Leary, Class of 1995, was selected as a 2014 Division Marshal in the 43rd annual St. Patrick's Parade of Washington, D.C., held on March 16th.
The 10-block parade route ran down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets and featured traditional pipe bands, Irish dancers, military processions, marching bands, ornate floats, and more.
Leary is co-founder and U.S. Director of the Frederick Douglass/Daniel O'Connell Project. Its mission of strengthening the bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Ireland through dialogue, symposiums, and cultural exchange is rooted in Frederick Douglass's transformative visit to Ireland in 1845-46, during which he was both enlightened and inspired through his friendship with the Irish people, including Daniel O'Connell, who is still honored in Ireland today for his role in Catholic emancipation and his fierce opposition to slavery.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Leary is a third generation Irish-American. She began her career on the staff of the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and has also worked over her 20-year career for the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Podesta Group, and the United Mine Workers of America.
For more than six years, Leary has served on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Washington Ireland Program (WIP) for Service and Leadership, which brings university-aged students from both Ireland and Northern Ireland to Washington, D.C. each summer for internships and leadership training.
The program has grown to become one of the most prestigious and sought-after leadership programs in Ireland, and many WIP alumni are now playing important leadership roles in civic, political, media, science, and academic life.