Trina Vargo is the president of the US-Ireland Alliance, an organization she founded in 1998. From late 1987 until April 1998, she was employed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy and served as his foreign policy adviser during the critical years of the Northern Ireland peace process.
Vargo created the US-Ireland Alliance to build ties between the US and the island of Ireland for future generations. She also created the George J. Mitchell Scholarship program, which sends future American leaders to institutions of higher learning on the island of Ireland for a year of graduate study. More than three hundred Americans apply annually for one of the twelve prestigious scholarships. There are now more than two hundred Mitchell Scholars. She created the annual Oscar Wilde Awards to honor the Irish in entertainment. The annual event is currently held at J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica, and Vargo has played an important role in encouraging film production in Ireland, including the filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the island of Skellig Michael. Vargo has addressed the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament).