Frank Noon

Chief Executive of the British Council, Ciarán Devane, visited the USA on Monday, November 16 - Friday, November 20, 2015.

Sir Ciaran gave a keynote lecture on Monday, November 16 at the George Washington University titled: 'A World in Crisis - How Can Smart Power Make a Difference?' We used the hashtag #smartpower during a live-tweet - interact with us on Twitter!

See Sir Ciaran's interview with the GW Hatchet previewing his lecture on smart power and international diplomacy and how his GW education impacted his career trajectory.

Read a blog from the GW Hatchet covering the speech and its themes.


Ciarán Devane took up the role of Chief Executive of the British Council in January 2015.

Ciarán was educated at University College Dublin where he gained first-class honors in biochemical engineering. He then started his career as an engineer and manager with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) working across several businesses, functions and geographies. He later joined Gemini Consulting where he led multi-country change programmes for companies such as DuPont, AstraZeneca and Glaxo. He also holds a Masters degree in International Policy and Practice from the George Washington University, Washington DC. 

Ciarán joined Macmillan Cancer Support as Chief Executive in May 2007. There he developed the strategy which transformed the scale and impact of what the charity does, both on its own and in collaboration with other organizations, and raised its profile as an authoritative voice on cancer and on health. During his time at Macmillan, the charity doubled in size not only in terms of income, but also in terms of reach and impact. The charity also increasingly moved beyond clinical care, placing more emphasis on whole-person care. Ciarán is a trustee of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and is a Non-Executive Director of NHS England and of Social Finance Ltd.

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