On Thursday, November 22, 2010, Jason Hackworth, the State Department Desk Officer for Ireland and Northern Ireland, spoke to a group of faculty, staff, and students in the Barrister’s Club on the Delaware campus.
Vice Dean J. Patrick Kelly
offered a general welcome. He thanked the Wilmington, Delaware Chapter of People to People International for bringing a variety of speakers to the Law School over the last several years, and acknowledged Ed Tucker, the Chapter President, who was in the audience.
Mr. Hackworth opened his remarks with a brief consideration of the historical ties between the United States and Ireland. Noting that “Over 40 million Americans claim Irish descent,” he discussed the historical context of Irish immigration to the United States and mentioned several notable Americans of Irish ancestry before moving on to an overview of U.S. Relations with Ireland.
“Ireland is a small nation – as we know – slightly larger than West Virginia in size with a population comparable in size to South Carolina, and yet, they’ve made significant contributions around the world including military support in Afghanistan and a lead role in peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, Lebanon, and Chad,” said Mr. Hackworth of Ireland’s international role. He discussed Ireland’s efforts to help combat international hunger.
Describing Ireland’s close ties with the United States, Mr. Hackworth said, “The United States is the biggest investor in Ireland around the world.” He also discussed the lengthy peace process in Northern Ireland. Concluding his remarks, he said, “In closing, I want to reiterate the strong bond that the U.S. has with both Ireland and Northern Ireland.” He then took questions from the audience on a number of topics including how the lessons learned from the peace process in Northern Ireland might be applied to Iraq, what impact if any that the events of 9/11 might have had on the peace process, and why Northern Ireland has its own desk.
A consular officer by trade, Jason Hackworth has served overseas in the U.S. Consulate General in Florence, Italy; the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan; and most recently in the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius. Currently the Desk Officer for Ireland & Northern Ireland in the Office of Western European Affairs in the Bureau of European & Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Mr. Hackworth’s work focuses on the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy toward Ireland and Northern Ireland.