Ireland’s US ambassador to join NYU faculty

Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, will teach a course at NYU in fall 2022.

Bryn Borzillo, Staff Writer

Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, will join NYU as a global distinguished professor in Irish studies for the fall 2022 semester. After a 44-year-long career in diplomacy, Mulhall will retire from his position at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in September 2022 to teach a course in the university’s history department and participate in programming for the Glucksman Ireland House, NYU’s center for Irish and Irish American studies.

During his career as a diplomat, Mulhall participated in the 1998 Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement referendum, which determined how Northern Ireland would be governed. His new book, “Ulysses: A Reader’s Odyssey,” was a bestseller in Ireland this year. Mulhall said he hopes his career in foreign affairs will provide his students with a unique perspective on Irish literature and history.

“It will be, for me, a big treat to get a chance to talk about these subjects to an audience of students from NYU,” Mulhall said. “I hope that I will be a mentor and a role model for NYU students in that I have managed to build a very varied and successful career, and I hope that that experience will be useful to students when I go into the classroom with them.”

Mulhall will teach an undergraduate seminar titled “Literature as History: Ireland 1880-1940” and plans to offer public lectures and guest speaker events at Glucksman and across the university. He previously taught courses at the University of Limerick in Ireland and Murdoch University in Australia, but has not taught a college course since 1987.

“The advantage I have is that I’m fresh to this kind of work and that I haven’t taught a course for a long time,” Mulhall said. “I have spoken to audiences all over the world about aspects of Ireland, so I will bring that experience with me to NYU — an experience of talking to people on four continents about Ireland and about Irish literature and history.”

To the left, Ted Smyth wears a blue suit, a red tie and black glasses. Smyth is shaking hands and looking towards the right at James Galway, who is wearing a black suit and a blue tie.
President of the Glucksman Ireland House advisory board, Ted Smyth (left), with James Galway (right) at the Glucksman Ireland House Annual Dinner Gala. (Image courtesy of Ted Smyth)

Ted Smyth, the president of Glucksman’s advisory board, said the center is excited to welcome Mulhall to NYU. He said Mulhall hopes to hold lunches where undergraduate and graduate students will have the opportunity to meet him in a smaller group setting.

“He loves to teach, he loves young people, so I think he will be a very active presence on the campus,” Smyth said. “We look forward to having him to conduct talks and interact with the students.”

The announcement of Mulhall’s appointment comes as Glucksman, located on Washington Mews, prepares for its 10th annual gala. The event is held to raise money for research, scholarships and public events. This year, it will take place on April 11 at the Rainbow Room, a private event space at Rockefeller Center.

“The gala is one of the five most prestigious Irish American events in the year,” Smyth said. “Our gala — we like to think — is more a literary, historical and cultural gala. We raise money, but people love to hear the writers, actors and deans who speak there.”

The center’s advisory board, which comprises 18 New York City residents, considers nominations for prizes each year and holds a vote to determine the winners. This year, The American Ireland Fund chair Eugene McQuade, Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga and journalist Mike Barnicle will be presented with awards for their accomplishments.

“Last time we did that was two years ago with 350 people sat down to dinner, if you can imagine such a thing,” said Kevin Kenny, the Glucksman director and history professor. “It is an opportunity to bring everybody and anybody Irish in New York, and in the world, together for one evening.”

Contact Bryn Borzillo at [email protected].