Ted Smyth

Irish ExaminatorIrish Examiner:
Out & About
Posted on February 24, 2021 by Digital Desk

Ted Smyth
Ted Smyth

By Paddy McCarthy

Unfortunately I missed the Irish Business Organization’s February Irish Stew Podcast, the latest episode sponsored by The Irish Examiner USA. First, I have to apologize to John Lee, President and all the members as I was involved in another event at the same time and that was The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade’s Social and Media zoom meeting, I am so sorry again. To follow up I am going to let you read about the talented man, Ted Smyth who was the guest on the podcast and what a great host he was as I listened later to him speaking, so here we go.

Ted Smyth went from rural to urban, to international, from leadership roles in diplomacy to C-suite roles in Fortune 500 companies, to a rich post-corporate career in Irish American community leadership. On this episode of Irish Stew, Ted describes his journey from a protestant farming community in Co. Westmeath, to “finding his place” in Trinity College Dublin, an intellectual “petri dish” that fostered his growing social justice focus. That led him to Ireland’s diplomatic corps and his work on conflict resolution in the North and Irish American engagement in the peace process.

Settling stateside, he forged an enviable business career instilled with his social responsibility ethos and is now in his “Act III,” serving the Global Irish Nation through his writing, speaking, and volunteer service, including his roles as president of the advisory boards of both Glucksman Ireland House and the UCD Clinton Institute.

He retired from his role as EVP Corporate Affairs at McGraw Hill Financial in 2015, a company whose brands include Standard & Poor’s, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Platts Energy Benchmarks. He was a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and responsible for a wide portfolio, including government relations, corporate communications, public policy, crisis communications and social responsibility. He was a key member of the leadership team that managed the sale of McGraw Hill Education and the evolution of McGraw Hill Financial to S&P Global.

Ted was Chief Administrative Officer of the H.J. Heinz Company from 2003 to 2009 where he was responsible for Global Human Resources, Communications, Government Affairs and Crisis Management. He led the recruitment of senior talent as the company expanded rapidly in new markets such as India, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Philippines. While at Heinz, he championed the Heinz Micronutrient Campaign, the Weight Watchers’ focus on healthy weight metrics, the Dolphin-Safe policy of Star-Kist tuna and Heinz ketchup marketing initiatives.

Ted was an Irish diplomat for 15 years, from 1972 to 1988, serving in Portugal, Geneva, the United States and the United Kingdom. He participated in the Northern Ireland peace process, seeking support amongst key stakeholders for a non-violent, just solution. Ted served in the Department of the Taoiseach as Deputy Director of Government Information Services and as an Advisor on Northern Ireland. He served in the Secretariat of the New Ireland Forum (1983-84) which forged a historic consensus for a political solution to the NI conflict and laid the groundwork for the 1986 Anglo-Irish Agreement.

As Head of Press and Information in the United States from 1976 to 1981 he worked successfully with Irish government agencies, including IDA Ireland, to attract American companies to invest and create jobs in Ireland. Ted publishes regularly on Irish and Irish American issues, including a chapter on the New Ireland Forum in Brokering the Good Friday Agreement: the untold story (ed; Mary Daly), Royal Irish Academy, 2019, and an article on Irish America in the 1980s in the Journal of American Ethnic HIstory, He lives in New York City and New Hampshire, is married to the writer, Mary Breasted and is a delighted grandfather of three granddaughters. Hobbies include jogging, hiking, politics, history and painting. Now how does he get the time with all those hobbies? Isn’t that something? This man is supreme and what talent, and guess what, he is a good supporter of mine. I know, bragging again, well he is. Ah, I love this job.

The Emerald Guild

Here is something that I really cherish and that is the support that the Irish societies give to our Irish communities. The Emerald Guild Society has generously donated $5,000 to the New York Irish Center. On behalf of the Board of Directors at the New York Irish Center, Executive Director George C. Heslin accepted the donation toward annual programming. Emerald Guild Society President Declan Moran and Board Member Paul Motherway presented the check. That is so nice and just to let you know who they are, The Emerald Guild Society, founded in 1992, is an association of Irish and Irish-American Building Managers in New York City. What a great group they are who always step up to the plate making donations to different events and helping out a lot of charities, good on yea lads.

Hugh O'Lunney

It is with a very sad heart I have to report the sad news that one of Ireland’s most wonderful men, Hugh O’Lunney has just passed away, Rest in Peace. He was one of the most popular bar owners on this side of the Atlantic and always had time for everybody that crossed his path and also helped so many with employment. This news came to me from the United Irish Counties Association of New York with great respect and it said this: “Heartfelt condolences are extended to the O’Lunney Family on the passing of their beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, Hugh, on February 18th, just two days after his 85th birthday. A proud native of Co. Cavan, Hugh was a popular restaurateur and compassionate humanitarian. He possessed a great love for his Irish heritage and was always generous to make his business available to promote and support anything Irish.

“Hugh’s last restaurant, O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub, was, unfortunately, just another of the popular NYC Irish pubs and restaurants which shuttered permanently last year due to Covid-19. “

May he rest in peace. Please keep Hugh and his family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

” Again, I am so sorry to leave you on a sad note again but I had great respect for Hugh and he will be greatly missed. Myself and all the staff of The Irish Examiner USA send our deepest condolences to the O’Lunney family.

Hope to see you all again when I am Out&About again…

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