ITLG chairman and former Intel CEO Craig Barrett was presented with the 2013 Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad by President Michael D Higgins at a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin yesterday evening.
Recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad are honoured for their distinguished service to Ireland in the fields of peace-building, charitable work, business, education and arts, culture and sport, among others.
Barrett was CEO and president of chip giant Intel between 1998 and 2005.
Intel came to Ireland in 1989 and has since grown to more than 4,000 employees at wafer fabrication facilities in Leixlip, Co Kildare.
He is chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, which was established by a group of Irish executives in Silicon Valley who realised at the time that unlike other diaspora groups in the US, such as Israel, the Irish diaspora had failed to mobilise to help tech firms from Ireland achieve success in the US.
The movement grew rapidly to engage with hundreds of senior Irish executives in Fortune 500 companies, venture capital firms and leading tech start-ups. Barrett came on board as chairman, the ITLG established a headquarters in downtown San Jose, California, and created its own venture capital firm, Irish Technology Capital.
It has grown to include outposts not only in Silicon Valley but also on Wall Street and in Hollywood, and has grown global dimensions, uniting technology executives of Irish descent in other geographies across the world, including Europe and Asia.
The Irish Government established the Presidential Awards after the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, said Ireland is fortunate to have ambassadors and advocates of the calibre of Dr Craig Barrett, whose leadership in the fields of technology and education is second to none.