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Virtual Coffee Chat with a Science Diplomat: Ireland Interview




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EURAXESS North America is pleased to present the first interview of 2021 in the Virtual Coffee Chat with a Science Diplomat webinar series, featuring Ireland.


Grab a cup of coffee and join us virtually for a casual chat with Counsellor Harry Lester and Dr. Aoife Ryan discussing Ireland, the country's research, development, and innovation landscape, how their organizations work together to support Irish science, STI partnerships with the United States, and more.


The webinar will take place on Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 at 9:00 AM PDT / 12:00 noon EDT / 5:00 PM IST / 6:00 PM CEST. Convert to your local time zone here.


View a list of past Virtual Coffee Chat with a Science Diplomat interviews here.


Learn more about the participants' organizations by visiting the homepages of the Embassy of Ireland to the U.S., Science Foundation Ireland, and EURAXESS North America.


This online event is free and will be conducted in English.


Register now



Date & Duration
- (12 - 12:50pm)
AZ, United States
2021EUEventsInterviewIrelandsciencescience diplomacyScience PolicyVCCVirtual Coffee ChatWebinar



Speaker biographies:

Harry Lester, Counsellor for Trade, Investment and Innovation, Embassy of Ireland to the U.S.

Harry Lester is the Counsellor for Trade, Investment and Innovation at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, DC. He leads the Embassy’s Economic Team and arrived in the USA in December 2019.

In Ireland, Harry worked for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), in Trade Policy and is currently seconded to the Irish Embassy for four years.

DETE previously included Irish Research and Development Policy, which has since transferred to a new standalone Department, created in 2020 which is dedicated to Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science.

Harry has held previous senior roles in Corporate Services, Company Law, and International/EU Standards Policy. He has led major HR reform as part of modernization of the Civil Service, implemented major changes in company legislation, and worked across the EU on the development of a coordinated national market surveillance plan to safeguard the free movement of goods.

Previously, he worked in Ireland’s Department of Finance and the Irish Parliament (Houses of the Oireachtas), where he focussed on the macro-economy and EU Affairs.


Dr. Aoife Ryan, Enterprise & Transatlantic Partnerships, Science Foundation Ireland

 ​Prior to joining the Enterprise Partnerships team in September 2020, Aoife Ryan was the International Development Lead for Science Foundation Ireland. Based in Mountain View, CA, Aoife’s responsibilities centralized around the creation of impactful international funding partnerships for Irish researchers with U.S. partners from industry, philanthropy, and academia. Her role also involved building awareness of the contribution and impact of SFI and Irish science and technology within the U.S. Aoife continues to lead on transatlantic relationships for SFI in her role as program manager on the Enterprise Partnerships team where her focus is on seeding and scaling industry-academic partnerships.

Prior to SFI, Aoife worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Trinity College Dublin where she was laboratory manager and led the project management and delivery of multiple research projects for cancer therapy, solar energy and display- and nano-technology applications. Aoife has co-authored over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to her doctoral studies, Aoife worked in leading pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, Swords, Co. Dublin.

Aoife holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds from University College Cork (2005) and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin (2012).



About the series:

In the Virtual Coffee Chat with a Science Diplomat webinar series, we have conversations with a science official based in the U.S. or Canada, who will highlight their experience in North America, the country's research landscape and opportunities, their career path, and more. The brief chat will flow freely with the aim of having an open discussion on the varying roles and perspectives of science diplomats, and we will share viewer questions so that you can be a part of the conversation. We aim for a runtime of about 45 minutes, making it a true coffee chat you can squeeze into your busy schedule.





EURAXESS North America
Organiser address
United States