In May 2001, the Government of Ireland recommended that an Institute for American Studies should be established in Ireland. It also decided that it should be named for the 42nd President of the United State, President William Jefferson Clinton, in recognition of his role both personally, as well as those of the United States Government, Congress and people, in the Irish Peace Process.
University College Dublin successfully tendered for the project and the Clinton Institute for American Studies was formally established at UCD. The success of the tender owed much to the enthusiastic support and imagination of Professor Maurice Bric of the School of History and Archives and Dr. Ron Callan of the School of English, Drama and Film Studies. Professor Bric was the first acting Director of the Institute and played a key role in laying foundations, such as the introduction of the Institute’s Masters programme in American Studies.
In 2004, Professor Liam Kennedy was appointed Director, responsible for the Institute’s teaching, research and outreach programmes. He has overseen the expansion and diversification of core programmes and the internationalisation of our teaching and research. This has included the establishment of an international Summer School, of MA programmes – in Media and International Conflict and in American Politics and Foreign Policy – and of a PhD programme in American Studies.
President Clinton has warmly supported the establishment of the Institute, paying several visits and addressing students in memorable lectures.