Age 36 Place of Birth Dublin Where you live Philadelphia First Job Selling gold-plated chains by the inch at the Ideal Home Show. What it taught me That I want my work to have meaning. I love the Immigration Center because I get to help people directly and see the impact of my daily actions, while also promoting broader long-term discussions about the importance of citizenship and what it means to be Irish in a global context. Status Single Three things people would be surprised to know about me 1. I started trapeze lessons a year ago. I’m terrible, but I can climb up a rope and hang upside down by my knees – very ungracefully. 2. I had a baby goat called Stampy in Kenya. I won him in an auction and convinced my Dad to let me keep him. 3. I finally got my driver’s licence last year at age 35. But don’t ask me to drive anywhere; I’m dreadful (but not bad at parallel parking). Best advice you could give someone starting out Follow your folly. The world changes so fast, you can’t predict where your career will take you. But you can make sure you have fun along the way. My CV is quite eclectic and, for a long time, I worried that I appeared unfocused. Now I think that my varied experience helps me do a better job – and the customer service skills that are such a focus of working in retail never go out of fashion.
Siobh_n Lyons is the executive director of the Irish Immigration Center, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting immigrants and promoting citizenship. Born in Dublin, Lyons moved to Philadelphia in 2006 to work for the World Affairs Council. Prior to moving to the United States, she served as a diplomat in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. She is involved in several nonprofit organizations, including International House Philadelphia, Quest for Tech, the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts and Philadelphia Young Nonprofit Leaders. Lyons is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, where she specialized in Arabic literature.