Kaitlyn Likas is an award-winning fiddler and Irish/Scottish Highland dancer based in the Washington, DC area. From an early age, her mother Peggie ingrained in Kaitlyn and her siblings an awareness and appreciation of their cultural heritage. Peggie Casey-Likas was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork. As a first-generation Irish American, Kaitlyn makes a point to be active in her local Irish community in Virginia, DC, and Maryland and fully embraces her Irish heritage. 

Kaitlyn performed eight times for Ireland 100: Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts & Culture at the Kennedy Center. She also served as a member of the Culture Caucus at the Kennedy Center representing Ireland.  Recently, Kaitlyn performed for Taoiseach Leo Varadakar at an Ancient Order of Hibernians reception in Washington, DC. She has also performed for former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Ohio for Ancient Order of Hibernians President Danny O’Connell’s Testimonial and Presentation of the Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award. In 2021, she was invited to perform for Vice President Kamala Harris for a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at the Vice President’s residence. 

Ms. Likas was a featured fiddler in Celtic Life International Magazine in 2018.  She was also featured in Fair Lady Fiddlers “Female Fiddler of the Day.”  Kaitlyn represented Washington DC in the 2022 Mary from Dungloe International Arts Festival in Donegal, Ireland.  While in Donegal, she proudly represented the DC area performing and speaking at various events and venues.  She was interviewed by RTÉ’s Raidió na Gaeltachta and Donegal’s Highland Radio.   

In her spare time, Kaitlyn volunteers for various local Irish/Celtic organizations. She served as Chairman, Secretary, and Public Relations Coordinator for The Ballyshaners a charitable Irish organization in Alexandria, Virginia. She currently has leadership roles in the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland and the St. Andrew’s Society of Mid Maryland.  Kaitlyn is a proud member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Washington DC Gaels, and Irish Network DC. She also volunteers for the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann O’Neill Malcom Branch in the Washington, DC area.

Ms. Likas is the manager of the Science and Technology Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses, an American non-profit corporation that assists the United States government in addressing national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise.  She is planning an Irish-American Heritage Month celebration at the Institute for Defense Analyses this March…the first of its kind!

2024 Irish Echo 40 Under 40 Awards