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News / July 20, 2009

From dentistry to Capitol Hill

by Guy Hiscott

Second year dentistry student Alan Clarke, alongside three fellow Queen’s undergraduates, is currently on a prestigious Washington posting under an exclusive internship scheme run by the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP).

Alan is interning for Congressman Tim Murphy. He said: ‘This experience has allowed me to gain insight into how change in the world happens. Working in government is a window into the issues faced by the whole of the USA. I feel privileged to be part of the WIP Class of 2009 and to be in DC at this new chapter in history.’

In week one of their placement, the class met the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, at the US Supreme Court.  They have also had the opportunity to listen to award-winning journalist Mark Shields, the Irish Ambassador, Michael Collins, Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, and the former White House Press Secretary, Mike McCurry.

And, during a recent visit to New York, they enjoyed a series of events at the United Nations, gaining private access to the Security Council Chamber, before going to NASDAQ for an informative session on the market system.

WIP is a US-Ireland charity that is helping to prepare the next generation of leaders for Northern Ireland and Ireland. WIP inspires students from Ireland to lead through service at home and expands their skills by placing them in Washington DC’s most prestigious internships.

More than 350 young adults have graduated from WIP, representing 25 different universities throughout Ireland and the UK. Many graduates are now emerging in important careers in politics, law, business, communications and education. As they move into critical leadership roles, they retain their connection with WIP and continue to give back to their local communities through an active alumni network.

For further information, and details of how to apply for the Class of 2010, please visit