Aisling Events


Belfast International Homecoming 2023


28 September 2023


Titanic Hotel, Belfast / The Belfast Harbour Commissioners

Spirit of the Diaspora Recipient

Neville Isdell

Former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and Founder of EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

He is a former chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company where he worked for 43 years.  Neville took the world’s largest beverage company to new heights during his tenure.  He expanded on the company’s proud legacy of corporate responsibility by embedding sustainability throughout every facet of the organization and helping ensure its role as a community-connected twenty-first century enterprise. 
A native of Downpatick, Co Down, Neville Isdell joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1966 in Zambia.  In 1972, he became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg.
In 1989, he was elected senior vice president of the company and appointed president of the Northeast Europe/Africa Group and led the company’s re-entry into new markets in India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

Neville Isdell serves on the boards and executive committees of a number of NGOs, including Peace Parks Foundation and World Wildlife Fund, where he was also formerly chairman. Mr. Isdell was also former co-chair of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa and a former member of the Board of Directors of General Motors. He is a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award and received the 2008 Ellis Island Medal of Honor – International. 
Prior to becoming President a.i. of the World Wildlife Fund in June 2022, Neville was Co-Chair of WWF-US and former board member of WWF International from 2012-2018.
Neville received a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School PMD.  He is the recipient of four honorary degrees, including from Ulster University (where he endowed a conflict resolution studies chair)  and Queen’s University Belfast.