Origin Stories: Brendan O’Leary (Video)

The Lauder Professor of Political Science on his journey from Ireland to Nigeria to Northern Ireland to England to the U.S., and what he learned along the way.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

By Brooke Sietinsons

Origin Stories is a feature of OMNIA in which we highlight the journeys of members of our faculty as they followed their paths from impressionable young students to world-class scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Brendan O’Leary, Lauder Professor of Political Science, grew up amid war. In 1968, his family left Nigeria as civil war broke out. They settled in Northern Ireland, where ongoing conflict between military, policy, and paramilitary forces made life difficult for civilians. He made a career out of studying conflict as a scholar and a political and constitutional advisor to the U.N., the EU, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, the Governments of the U.K. and Ireland, and the British Labour Party.