Meet the team
Miranda Driscoll, Executive Director
Miranda Driscoll is a senior arts manager, multidisciplinary cultural producer/curator and artistic director from Dublin. She was the Director of Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland, from 2014-2019 and co-founder and Director of the Joinery; a multidisciplinary art space, Dublin, from 2007-2014. She lectured on the BA Photography program at IADT Dublin from 2011-2014. She has a Masters in Art in the Contemporary World from NCAD, Dublin and a BA in Photography from IADT, Dublin. Miranda’s experience includes strategic development, event production and management, creative partnerships, international, national and community-based initiatives. She has curated, produced and managed over 500 projects, performances, exhibitions and small festivals across the full spectrum of disciplines in Ireland and the US over the last 14 years.
Rex Daugherty, Artistic Director of Theatre
Rex has served as AD of Theater since 2015. During his tenure he has garnered international acclaim for Solas Nua productions, earned multiple Helen Hayes Awards and nominations, and provided the company with steady artistic and financial growth. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, on the cover of American Theatre Magazine, The Irish Times and aired on RTE. His one-man performance of The Smuggler was listed by The New York Times as one of the best theatre productions of 2019, nationwide. Rex’s work has also been seen at The Kennedy Center, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The National Theatre, The Warner Theatre, Ford's Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Folger Theatre, Rep Stage, Imagination Stage, Arts on the Horizon, The OKC Civic Center, and Off Broadway at 59E59.
Seán Wrenn, Website & Digital Content Manager / Assistant Producer of CIFF
Seán is a native of Grange, County Limerick and has been working professionally in film production for over a decade, covering various production styles, including News, PSA’s, music videos, online video advertising and promotional strategies, bumper reels, comedic and dramatic short films, as well as experimental video art. He was involved in over 200 video productions during his three and a half years as the Co-Director, lead cameraman and webmaster of I Love Limerick Ltd. In April of 2013, Seán was a recipient of a Mayoral reception hosted by Mayor of Limerick Gerry McLoughlin, in honor of his work with I Love Limerick Ltd. and his support of the charitable organizations they worked with in communities throughout Limerick City & County. Seán is the programmer for the CIFF@Home film series.
Dennis Houlihan, Chair
Dennis was a policy analyst for a national public sector trade union, where his work involved advising members and leaders on labor relations, public finance and public service provision. He has also worked for the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. House of Representatives and served as consultant on city planning, fiscal and government organization issues in San Francisco. He received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and was selected as the Alumni of the Year by the San Francisco State University Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University.
Tom McIntyre, Vice-President
Tom McIntyre identifies public programming opportunities for New York University's Washington, DC site and events with NYU global sites. He facilitates the participation of national experts, scholars, and policymakers in lectures and special events. He founded and directs NYU’s DC Dialogues program and is the Deputy Director of Programming and Outreach of NYU’s John Brademas Center, where he oversees its program agenda and acts as Congressional liaison. Tom created The Young Leaders Network, connecting young leaders to established policymakers and mentors in DC. From 1999-2004, Tom worked for Sen.Tom Daschle (D-SD). He received his BA from The Catholic University of America and his Master’s of Public Administration with a specialization in management of public and nonprofit organizations from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU.
Kate Meenan-Waugh, Secretary
Kate is an educator who has worked in secondary schools for more than 30 years, most recently at the Washington International School. She has taught and developed global education and community service programs which have included extensive, purposeful travel for both students and teachers. She is also an interviewer, mentor and organizer for the ASSIST student exchange program, as well as a teacher of ESL to recent adult immigrants in the Washington DC area. Born in New York City, Kate is a first-generation Irish-American, with deep roots in Donegal, Tyrone and Belfast. She holds a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and has done extensive graduate work at New York University in international education and counseling.
Michael Henry Kirlin, Treasurer
Mike is a native of Philadelphia, PA whose paternal grandparents emigrated as teenagers from farms outside Derry, Northern Ireland and reconnected in the US. After earning an AB in English Literature from St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Mike received a Master’s degree in Comprehensive Health Planning from George Washington University. Over a forty-year period, he was a hospital administrator and medical practice executive in the Baltimore and Washington communities. Mike is a former Board member of Ronald McDonald House in Washington, DC and served a term as its President during the expansion of the "home away from home" in Northeast Washington, near Children's National Medical Center.
Philippa P.B. Hughes
Philippa is a Social Sculptor & Creative Strategist who designs relational spaces for honest and transformative conversations across political, social, and cultural differences. She has produced hundreds of creative activations since 2007 for people who might not normally meet to engage with one another in unconventional and meaningful ways. These relational experiences build social capital, social cohesion, and social discourse. Her practice encompasses a multi-disciplinary approach informed by sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, history, community organizing, design thinking, creative placemaking, art, and humanities. Philippa has spoken at TEDxAmericanUniversity, University of Michigan's Penny Stamps Speaker Series, Fort Worth Women's Policy Forum, and featured by CNN, PBS Newshour, CityLab, The Washington Post, among other media outlets.
A native of Belfast, Anne is an immigration attorney with her own practice. While she was born and raised in Northern Ireland, Anne studied at Trinity College, Dublin, where she earned a BA and JD. She was later awarded an MA (Oxon). Like many before and after her, she began life in America working in a (different) bar. But she soon graduated to the law firm of Wasserman Mancini where she worked as an associate for five years. She left in 1989 to co-found Mitchell & Dunn, which is now based in Alexandria, VA. Anne is an enthusiastic supporter of Irish cultural events in the DC area, as well as broader Irish American business and arts organizations.
Cóilín Parsons is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Georgetown University. He is also a Director of Georgetown’s program in Global Irish Studies. Dr. Parsons’ academic interests include Irish literature, global modernisms, space and scale, cartography and post-colonial literature and theory. Cóilín is published in multiple academic journals, book chapters and review essays. He is a frequent and popular participant in varied academic and literary panels. He earned a Doctorate and Masters’ degrees from Columbia University in New York City and a Masters’ degree from Syracuse University. He was awarded double First-class Honours in English and History from National University of Ireland, Galway when he earned his B.A. Before coming to Georgetown in 2012, Cóilín taught at Columbia University in New York City and at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Born in Belfast, Colette emigrated to New York with her family at the age of 7. She’s been a life-long educator, with a BA in French from St John’s University and a Masters in Linguistics from San Francisco State University. She began her career by teaching French to high schoolers in New Rochelle, New York, followed by English as a Second Language to Southeast Asian refugees in Oakland, California, and 20 years as an administration both in curriculum development and as a principal of a number of schools in California & New Jersey. She rounded out her career leading professional workshops and mentoring principals for the New Jersey State Department of Education. Colette has consistently been involved in promoting contemporary Irish arts & culture and has independently produced a number of events including music, dance, poetry, and her favorite interest, Irish film.
Paddy Meskell, Chair Emeritus
Brought up and educated in Ireland, Paddy came to the U.S. in 1988 and has lived most of the time in Washington D.C. He co-founded two software companies in Ireland, worked on Wall Street and with Sallie Mae and has recently retired as Executive Vice President and member of the Board of Silver Diner. For many years he has conducted leadership workshops for the Washington Ireland Program in Ireland and in the U.S. and for Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI). He currently works as an independent consultant specializing in helping small entrepreneurial companies grow successfully.