John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister
John Bruton was the Prime Minister (Taoiseach) of Republic of Ireland from 1994 to 1997. He helped transform the Irish economy into the “Celtic Tiger,” one of the fastest growing economies in the world. He was also deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, under whose terms a conflict of allegiances dating back to the seventeenth century was resolved.
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John Bruton also served as the European Union Ambassador to the United States (2004-09).
While Prime Minister, John Bruton presided over a successful Irish EU Presidency in 1996 and helped finalize the Stability and Growth Pact, which governs the management of the single European currency, the Euro.
John Bruton was first elected to the Irish Parliament (“Dáil Éireann”) in 1969 at the age of 22 as a member of the Fine Gael Party, becoming Party Leader in 1990 and leading it into government in 1994. He previously served as Ireland’s Minister for Finance (1981-1982 and 1986-1987); Minister for Industry & Energy (1982-1983); Minister for Trade, Commerce & Tourism (1983-1986); and was Parliamentary Secretary (Junior Minister) from 1973-1977. He has also been opposition spokesman on Agriculture and on Education.
Currently, John Bruton is Chairman of IFSC Ireland, a private sector body set up to develop the financial services industry in Ireland. He is a member of the board of Ingersoll Rand plc, and of Montpelier Re plc. He is also a member of the board of the Centre for European Policy Studies. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Transatlantic Relations in Washington DC, and a visiting fellow at the European Institute in the London School of Economics.