Dr Sinead Walsh is the EU Ambassador to South Sudan. She has worked for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade since 2009. She was a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in 2016/17. Prior to this, she served as the Ambassador of Ireland to Sierra Leone and Liberia and the Head of Irish Aid in the two countries, based in Freetown from 2011 to 2016.
Before joining the government, Sinead spent ten years in the NGO sector, predominantly with Concern Worldwide, working in India, Pakistan, Rwanda and South Sudan, as well as in a global advocacy role. She has a BA in English from Harvard University, an MSc in development studies from University College Dublin and a PhD in social policy from the London School of Economics.
When Ebola struck, Sinead had been in Freetown for three years Irish Ambassador and the Head of Irish Aid. She threw herself into efforts to raise the alarm and rapidly scale up the response. Through media interviews and urgent briefings over the phone to Dublin, Brussels, Geneva and New York, she worked to alert the world to the growing catastrophe. Throughout the crisis, Sinead focussed heavily on coordination, policy and planning, trouble-shooting and advocacy within the national response and at the international level. Along with the Embassy team, she also oversaw funding to the response, particularly in the areas of Ebola treatment, ambulances and burial vehicles, and nutrition.