Maureen Casey

Place of birth: Hudson Falls, New York.

What is your profession? Currently, I am the Chief Operating Officer for Syracuse University's D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), a first-of-its kind, non-for-profit organization focused on positioning our nation's transitioning service members, veterans and their families for success post-service. We do this by conducting actionable research and delivering impactful career and entrepreneurship training programs.  Serving more than 20,000 per year, the IVMF has impacted the lives of more 200,000 since its launch in 2011.

How do you celebrate your Irishness? I think it is fair to say I live my Irishness not just celebrate it.  It is integral to who I am. I have travelled to Ireland more than 25 times, connecting with family on those trips and bringing along other family members on occasion so that they can experience the magic of Ireland, too. I live it through the music I listen to, the books I read, the jewelry I wear, the Irish festivals I attend - and even in my home. Someone once described it as 'the Tara Irish Shop tastefully exploded.'  We share with our friends, too, by hosting our annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast (now held half way to Paddy's Day in September).  Its 365 for me!

Name a hero you admire and why? It is less about one person I admire and more about the 'what' I admire in a person and that is courage. I have a deep admiration for those who have the courage to stand for and defend their convictions regardless of cost or risk - like those who fought for Irish Independence - the men and women of the 1916 Easter Uprising or Bobby Sands and his comrades who died during the Hunger Strike of 1981; or the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation or the uniforms of our law enforcement - those who have the courage to voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend all of us; or those with endless courage to battle serious illness, like my sister, Kathy, who courageously battled breast cancer for 11 years. It is people like this who inspire me every day to serve others before self.

Something people would be surprised to know about me... People would be surprised to know that despite my career in public service, one that took me from Lake George to Albany to NYC for 20 years and then to Syracuse, I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Kingsbury, NY (near Lake George).  They would also be surprised to know that I met my husband, from Buffalo, in a pub on a golf course in Birr, County Offaly, while we were both in Ireland on holiday - he on a golf trip, and me on a post 9/11/01 trip.  We will celebrate our 20th Anniversary in October.

Biography: A lawyer by education, my career has been a journey in public service - first as a probation officer before law school, then 10 years working in Albany for the State's Criminal Justice system, to include as Counsel for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, and then as a Deputy Commissioner for the NYPD and my time there was during the terrorist attacks of 9/11.  I then spent several years working for a global consulting firm before joining JPMorgan Chase, where I started and managed its military and veterans affairs program.  That led me to my current role as COO at Syracuse University's IVMF.

2024 Heroes of Irish America Awards