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Friday, January 6, 2017

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Robert Mauro, Executive Director of the Irish Institute at Boston College Dublin and founding Director of the Global Leadership Institute Our Coverage Sponsored by Cosmopolitan Dental, Official Dentist of Whom You Know

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Robert M. Mauro, PhD., is Executive Director of the Irish Institute and founding Director of the Global Leadership Institute. He completed his PhD (The Practice of Ideology, 2009) in Political Science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York. He is an expert in business and political practices, including leadership and strategy, global engagement and business development, conflict resolution, and Irish and American politics.

Robert joined Boston College six years ago as Director of the Irish Institute. Working with the U.S. Department of State, Robert designed and implemented professional education programs for developing and senior leaders in Ireland and Northern Ireland. During this time, over 700 participants from fields as diverse as business and innovation, policy, science and technology, and bureaucracy studied with the Irish Institute at Boston College developing their professional leadership skills.

Nearly three years ago, Robert founded the Global Leadership Institute (GLI). The GLI delivers high-impacted, applied executive education programing in leadership and strategy for developing and senior leaders from around the world. Growing rapidly over the past three years the GLI is a profit-center for Boston College and has seen over 2,100 participants attend programing. Programing has grown rapidly in South America, the Gulf Cooperation Council states, and South-Asia.

In addition, to leading the GLI and Irish Institute at Boston College, Robert is a leader within the university, advising Boston College on global strategy, establishing formal international partnerships, and providing leadership in innovation and business development. He was a key member of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic steering committee.

In addition to his work within Boston College, Robert is active in ensuring that the university is well connected to the world and, in particular, to the Irish community in U.S and to Ireland and Britain. He is past-President of Irish Network Boston, a Director of the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists, a board advisor to both The Frederick Douglass- Daniel O’Connell Project and the Gaelic Players Association New England, and is Minister Richard Bruton’s representative to the George Mitchell Scholarship Program In addition, he is on the Product Innovation Advisory Board for USA Funds.

Robert received a “Top 40 Under 40” in Irish-America award in 2013, the Top 100 Irish Academics in 2015, and the “Excellence in Education” award for 2016 from the State University of New York.  We are so thrilled to present Robert Mauro as our newest Mover and Shaker and the first of 2017!  Peachy Deegan interviewed Robert for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What should the world know about Ireland? 

Robert Mauro: The world should know that Ireland is an ideal gateway into Europe and the United Kingdom. With an outstanding educational system, good logistics and infrastructure, and an entrepreneurial spirit, Ireland can facilitate entry into the European Union and United Kingdom. Most interestingly, with June’s Brexit vote, Ireland will soon be the only English-speaking nation in the European Union but enjoys good special connection with the United Kingdom.

What should the world know about Boston College? 
Boston College is a university in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition. We seek to inspire our students to address the world’s needs, to seek truth, and to become men and women for others.

Are you of Irish ancestry and if so how has that affected your life? 
I am not of Irish heritage; I’m Sicilian, which is not exactly Italian, as you might know. I am an Irish citizen, however, and have lived in Dublin for close to a decade. To be a naturalized Irish citizen is an interesting thing. I find that my status as Irish is accepted far more readily in Ireland than in the U.S., especially among the Irish-American community. This raises interesting questions about ancestral identity as people in the U.S. understand it!

How do you define leadership and what does leadership mean to you? 
“Leadership” is an interesting term. There is no agreed definition; so you are right to ask what it means for me. For me, “leadership” is facilitating the development of opportunity for those on your team and for your organization. “Leaders” must help others realize their full potential and move the organization to its greatest possible achievements. 

When is Boston College going to play Notre Dame in football in Ireland?
That’s a few years off I think! When BC and Notre Dame play it is always an occasion, and messing with that formula that produces thrilling outcomes is not something that can happen without much planning.

Baldwin for a co-hosting a new Live—sorta- with Regis and Peachy on Netflix

How can Irish and American politics operate more successfully respectively?
 I received this interview before the November 8 Presidential election in the U.S. and I address this question on the 10th. In the U.S., we must continue to work hard to ensure that civil and human rights are enjoyed equally by everyone. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks and confronts hate speech and crime. Incidences of both have been rising over the recent past. 

Everyone interested in a society built on mutual cooperation and benefit should reject acts that give license to hate.

Irish politics is very complicated. The politics of the Republic differs from that of “Northern Ireland”. In the Republic, like much of the Western world, there is a clear need to create an inclusive economy that supports growth for every area and all in the state. “Northern Ireland” faces similar issues but also must also find ways to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable visions for the nation. In “Northern Ireland” continuing progress toward promoting dialogue and understanding around those visions is vital to a functioning state.

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
My family, and, in particular my wife and daughter. For many years, my career did not develop. I was a graduate student, spending my days in archives and evenings and weekends writing. My wife was supportive in ways that nobody has a right to expect. It is her sacrifices, and a desire to provide for my daughter, that push me to ensure that what I do, I do not only to the best of my abilities but also to the highest standards possible. I may not always achieve that goal, but allowing myself to stop short of that goal is not acceptable to me.

What are you proudest of and why? 
Outside of my family, the exchange programming led by the Irish Institute. Exchange programming works in a very unassuming way to bring leaders together to share, learn from one another, and establish real connections. These moments of sharing and learning and the relationships that have developed support activities of real social benefit in Ireland and Northern Ireland. New policy initiatives on renewable energy, economic development, and “youth offenders” have been introduced to positive effect.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? 
Over the past decade, I have developed extensive experience working abroad and working with governments, educational institutions, and private business around the world. These experiences have helped me develop a real insight into global conditions and how large institutions can contribute to global good. I would like to use these experiences to contribute in a foundational way to the strategy of an institution for global good.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
 I have received a number of awards—the 40 Under 40 in Irish-America, the Top 100 Irish Academics, and an award for Educational Excellence from the University at Albany.

What one word best describes you and why? 

Resilient. I vary rarely give up.

What do you take your sense of identity from? 
This is a difficult question to answer. I think my identity comes from a real desire to understand others and to be a good citizen. How I developed an interest in that, I’m not sure.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
 I think Penn Station is my favorite place in Manhattan—people from all over and going all over at once. 
And in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts? 
The Brighton Campus at Boston College, though technically not in Chestnut Hill as it is in Brighton, is one place to imagine BC’s future. 
And in Ireland? 
Broadford Hill—this is where my in-laws live, a development of semi-detached 3-bedroom homes with an incredibly tight, kind community.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
And in Chestnut Hill? 
 It used to be the Finagle a Bagel, which is now gone, that served as a community gathering point 
And in Ireland?
 Churchtown Stores, a family-run cross between a hardware store and a curiosity shop of sorts.

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why? 
President Obama. Although it remains to be seen what remains of his achievements, his Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act is probably the most progressive piece of Federal legislation in the past 25 years.

What is your favorite drink? 
Double espresso or a G&T 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
In a moment of uncontrolled exasperation I sighed loudly as I tried to grab the attention of the Irish PM. He was with Hilary Clinton and Hilary was attracting a crowd that was difficult to manage. He heard me sigh and spun around with a surprised look on his face. I was felt like—and acted a—total rube.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan? 
 Frank, a restaurant on 2nd Ave.; good times were had! 
And in Chestnut Hill? 
This is difficult to answer as there aren’t many restaurants in Chestnut Hill—Bon Me
 And in Ireland? 
Max’s in Kinsale 

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? 
Willy Loman 
And in Chestnut Hill?
Are there any? 
And in Ireland?
 Stephen Dedalus

Who would you like to be for a day and why?
 Indiana Jones—the sense of discovery would be thrilling

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
The United Nations HQ—it would be arrogant, of course, but the concept of the organization answers a call for cooperation and dialogue
 And in Chestnut Hill? 
The reservoir; it is very peaceful 
And in Ireland? 
The political archives at the Linen Hall Library. I spent the better part of 3-years researching there and feel part of it.

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 

I’m a Red Sox fan so, the 2004 ALCS 

And in Chestnut Hill? 

BC over USC in 2014

 And in Ireland? 

There have been so many but this year’s All-Ireland Hurling Final was an amazing experience.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 

Visit the Stock Exchange

 And in Chestnut Hill?

 Eat a Screaming Eagle 

And in Ireland? 

 Enjoy pints with my in-laws in their local.

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
FDR—I want to know much more about his ability to remain resilient and to connect with people.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 


And in Chestnut Hill? 

Rural Ireland at the McMullen Museum of Art 

And in Ireland?

 Moby at the Odeon

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
I serve as a mentor for those moving to Boston from abroad as they seek to enter the community here.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan? 
The complexity and efficiency of Manhattan is its most underrated aspect; its shopping is most overrated, but I don’t like to shop 
And in Chestnut Hill? 
 Its exclusivity—for both!
 And in Ireland? 
Its food; the Guinness

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite WhomYouKnow​.com​ column and what do you like about it? 
Brilliant Business People. I enjoy reading about others and how they developed and grew and continue to seek success.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
I am passionate about global connections and want to learn about your readers’ global links and interests.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

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