UCD Social Sciences
Mary Sutton completed a Bachelor of Social Science degree in University College Dublin in 1974 followed by a Master’s degree in Economics at McMaster University in Canada. For most of her career, she worked in international development, initially as a researcher with the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace in Dublin and then with the Overseas Development Institute in London. She then spent twenty years with Trócaire initially in a research capacity before filling a variety of management roles including Deputy Director.
Moving from the NGO sector to the civil service and continuing her engagement with global development, in 2002, she moved to the Department of Foreign Affairs as Principal Development Specialist with the Advisory Board of Irish Aid. This was a time of rapid growth in Ireland’s programme of Official Development Assistance and the Board was tasked with advising the Minister on the strategic direction of the programme.
Switching focus to domestic socio-economic issues and the contribution of private philanthropy to addressing them, in 2008, she joined The Atlantic Philanthropies becoming Country Director for the Republic of Ireland in 2011. Now in her tenth year with Atlantic, she is overseeing the conclusion of its work in Ireland in line with Chuck Feeney’s “limited life” and “giving while living” philosophy.