Ulster University Unveils Exceptional Cohort of Emerging Leaders on 25@25 Leadership Programme

  • Ulster University has announced the 25 exceptional leaders selected from diverse sectors spanning business, technology, health, education, law, finance, public affairs, charity, sustainability, peace-building, youth work and journalism, who will begin the prestigious 25@25 leadership programme in September.  

    These aspiring leaders from across Northern Ireland are Ulster University alumni who are currently rising to the top of their fields in international organisations such as PwC, EY and Factor Law; leading NI bodies: Translink, Catalyst, NI Fiscal Council and Belfast City Council; and well-known charities: Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Fund for Children and consultancy: Third Sector Connect; among many others.  

    Throughout the year, the cohort of leaders will take part in nine one-day sessions guided by an extraordinary lineup of talented guest speakers. Already confirmed are BAFTA-winning screenwriter, Lisa McGee; TV presenter and former Irish Rugby international player Tommy Bowe; Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service and a trailblazer shaping the future of public administration, Jayne Brady; and CEO of Nextdoor, Sarah Friar.   

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    Joining this line-up is Samantha Barry, Glamour's Americas Editorial Director and Irish native who will share her leadership insights with the 25. Based in New York, Samantha previously worked as a reporter for RTÉ, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC and CNN, where she was an executive producer for CNN Worldwide. Led by Barry, CNN's 2016 presidential election coverage received the first ever Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in social media.  

    In November, Barry will lead a session called ‘Becoming a Creative Leader’ along with Lisa McGee, playwright, screenwriter and creator of the BAFTA-winning Derry Girls who has just announced a new comedy-thriller series for Channel 4, called How To Get To Heaven From Belfast. 

    Samantha said: “I’m delighted to be involved in 25@25 – especially alongside my friend, Lisa McGee - and looking forward to sharing my journey and the leadership lessons I’ve learned along the way with this incredible group. 

    “I was preparing to finish school when the signing of the Good Friday Agreement happened, and it was momentous and historic. Twenty five years on I’m passionate about supporting and fostering this generation of amazing talent we have on the Island of Ireland and I’m excited to see what they go on to achieve next.”    

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    Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, University Provost, Ulster University commented; “This year will be the start of a new chapter in Northern Ireland’s history. By pairing the up and coming leaders of our future with the leaders of today who can share their experiences and expertise of success, Ulster University will play a vital role in shaping the future generations of entrepreneurs, innovators, and change-makers to be the leaders that we have the power to educate and inspire. 

    “Today’s titans of industry in the creative arts, healthcare and sustainability, among others, know what needs to be done to secure a bright future for Northern Ireland and thrive on our successes, and Ulster University are providing the platform and the opportunity to do it.  

    “The future leaders on the 25@25 Programme are going to be world-class because of the world-class leaders that are stepping up to guide them”.  

    Source: Written from press release

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