Ards and North Down councillor Connie Egan is selected for the Future Leaders Connect programme
An Ards and North Down councillor, Connie Egan, has been selected for the British Council’s prestigious global policy programme, Future Leaders Connect.
Connie will be among 63 delegates from 13 countries taking part in a six-week online policy and leadership programme and will gain exclusive access to policy experts and training, discuss policy ideas with UK Parliamentarians and Government and be mentored by UK think tanks and other senior leaders.
In partnership with the prestigious Møller Institute at Cambridge University, the Future Leaders Connect programme aims to help delegates develop their skills, expand their networks and ultimately, make policy change.
Connie (26) was selected from over 9,000 applicants worldwide and as part of the process, had to pitch her policy vision. She chose to focus on integrated education.
Speaking ahead of the programme, she said: “I’m very excited to have been selected for the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect programme, and over the next few weeks I’ll be working with emerging policy leaders across the world to develop our vision and make change.
“I applied for the programme to connect with other young emerging leaders across the globe and gain the knowledge and skills to make good policy and ensure its effective implementation.
“I hope through the programme that I will broaden my knowledge, learn from other leaders in the education sector and come away with skills to further enhance my role as a policymaker.”
On top of her current role as a councillor, Connie also works as a researcher for the Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Education Committee, which has increased her interest in integrated education, alongside pupil wellbeing. She said: “My policy vision for the programme is a focus on the education system in Northern Ireland.
“I chose this area as I have a keen interest and my employment is in research focusing on education. Northern Ireland’s education system needs radical change and overall, my vision is for an integrated and sustainable system that delivers equal opportunity for all children to develop their unique personality, talent and ability together.”
For this Centenary year, the programme has been expanded in Northern Ireland to ten places instead of the usual two, through the support of the Northern Ireland Office, with Connie joined on the programme by nine other delegates from Northern Ireland. Across the six weeks they will connect with emerging leaders from Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Ukraine, Vietnam and the rest of the UK.
Congratulating Connie and the nine other Northern Ireland participants, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis, said: “I’m proud that the Northern Ireland Office is supporting the expansion of the programme this Centenary year, meaning more young people from Northern Ireland will be taking part.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to hear from leaders around the world and learn how governments can work together to tackle the great global issues of the day.”
Also speaking about the programme, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce the ten exceptional individuals from Northern Ireland taking part in this year’s global programme. Future Leaders Connect is an opportunity for emerging leaders in Northern Ireland to collaborate with their counterparts from all over the world, and to benefit from the sharing of ideas and knowledge in tackling global issues and challenges.
“The application process was extremely competitive, and we are certain that our ten young leaders whose backgrounds range from law and politics to housing and the environment, will make positive changes in Northern Ireland. We wish them every success in the programme.”
This year’s Future Leaders Connect programme will run for six weeks online until 19 November.
For more information on Future Leaders Connect or British Council Northern Ireland, visit: