Jean Ann Kennedy Smith (born February 20, 1928) is an American diplomat, activist, humanitarian, and author who served as United States Ambassador to Ireland from 1993 to 1998. She is a member of the Kennedy family, the eighth of nine children and youngest daughter born to Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald, and is their last surviving child. Her siblings included President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver. As Ambassador to Ireland, Smith was reportedly instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process as President Bill Clinton's representative in Dublin. She was heavily criticized after urging the U.S. State Department to grant a visa to Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams, although her family claimed that this step influenced the Irish Republican Army in its declaration of a ceasefire in 1994. However, Adams has claimed that it was President Clinton who led the Northern Ireland peace process and that during the process, Smith relied on advice from an influential Belfast priest. President of Ireland Mary McAleese conferred honorary Irish citizenship on Smith in 1998 in recognition of her service to the country. Smith is the founder of Very Special Arts (VSA), an internationally recognized non-profit dedicated to creating a society where people with disabilities can engage with the arts. In 2011, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by President Barack Obama for her work with VSA and with people with disabilities.