President: Sister Michele O'Leary, M.Ed., M.P.H. (1935 - 2005)
Michele O’Leary founded the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh in 1989 to promote mutual understanding between the Catholic and Protestant traditions of Northern Ireland and to assist in the economic development of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sr. O'Leary's professional background includes serving as President of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health Corporation, school supervisor, principal and teacher. She has a Masters of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, a Masters of Education from Duquesne University and a Bachelor of Science from Carlow College.
Included in Who’s Who of American Women, Sr. O’Leary is a past member of the Pennsylvania Elected Women’s Association, the Women’s Political Caucus of Allegheny County, a 1997 recipient of Carlow College’s Woman of Spirit Award and the 1984 Award for Service to Government and Community. Sr. O’Leary is also a recipient of Chatham College’s first International Understanding Award in 2001 and the 2003 Trustee Award.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge appointed Sr. O’Leary as a Judge on the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline in 2000. The eight-member Court of Judicial Discipline has jurisdiction over all judicial officers in Pennsylvania. Sr. O’Leary is the first Catholic nun to be appointed to a judgeship as a non-lawyer in the Court’s history.
On March 27, 2003, Sr. O’Leary was the recipient of the World Affairs Council, David Glick Award for distinguished contributions to the understanding of world peace. She received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Ulster, Coleraine for her dedicated work in Northern Ireland and Ireland on July 4, 2003.
Sr. O’Leary has hosted members of all of the political parties of Northern Ireland in Pittsburgh. She has worked with the International Fund for Ireland, which has provided job-training opportunities in Pittsburgh to over 1,600 Northern Ireland/Ireland adults, and the US State Department Walsh Visa program that enables Northern Ireland/Ireland adults with employment opportunities in Pittsburgh-based companies.
Sr. O’Leary has been instrumental in designing, coordinating and promoting programs focused on economic development and job creation in Northern Ireland and Ireland, including the Pittsburgh White House Conference on Trade and Investment, numerous trade delegations to and from Pittsburgh/Northern Ireland/Ireland, the Newry/Pittsburgh Partnership, the University of Ulster/Pittsburgh Consortium, the Fermanagh/Pittsburgh Partnership, the Carlow/Pittsburgh Partnership, and the Friends of Belfast Program.
Executive Vice President: Mel Madden, Ph.D. (1938 - 1999)
Dr. Mel Madden has been involved in consulting, training, and development since the early 1970's when he was a community resource officer for the State of New Jersey. In this capacity, he did staff training in the State's penal institutions, mental health agencies, schools and community organizations. In 1974, he attended the University of North Dakota where he specialized in Human Relations Training. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, he was recruited by California State University of Pennsylvania to begin the school's Human Relations Program.
He worked exclusively with African Americans and with women to bring the school into compliance with state and federal Affirmative Action goals. During his tenure as Equal Opportunity Officer, the University's African American enrollment moved from 4% to 11% and the program received public accolades on many occasions.
In the summer of 1984, Dr. Madden began a consulting relationship with the NorthWest Center for Learning and Development in Derry, Northern Ireland. He continues to offer Human Relations Training and Conflict Management for the Center. In conjunction with Sister Michele O'Leary, he organized Project Derry - an organization that sponsored students to study for a year in the United States. Dr. Madden is responsible for the administration and management of the Personal Growth and Development program of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.