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Former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:36 PM EST
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(WNDU) - Former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly was confirmed by voice vote in the Senate on Thursday to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

Donnelly, who spent a dozen years in elected office representing Indiana in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate., was nominated by President Biden back in October.

Donnelly graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He went on to earn his law degree from the university four years later. Donnelly also taught courses at the university on American politics, public policy, and leadership from 2019 to 2021.

Press Release from the University of Notre Dame:

The U.S. Senate today confirmed the nomination of University of Notre Dame alumnus and former senator Joe Donnelly as ambassador to the Holy See.

“Joe is a person of deep Catholic faith and commitment to public service, and I am confident that he will serve in this important new role with vision and integrity,” Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “It comes as no surprise that there was broad bipartisan support for his confirmation, as he has proven throughout his career that he is committed to building relationships and working across divisions. Joe has the prayers of his alma mater, as well as our commitment to assist him in any way we can.”

The United States established formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1984 and works in partnership with the Holy See on a wide range of issues, including democracy, peace and security, human trafficking, interreligious dialogue, development and foreign aid, and human rights.

A 1977 graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Donnelly went on to earn his law degree from the University four years later. He represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes Notre Dame, for three terms and served one term in the U.S. Senate.

As a professor of the practice at Notre Dame from 2019 to 2021, Donnelly taught courses in the Keough School of Global Affairs on American politics, public policy and leadership. He also has practiced law over the past three years with the Washington, D.C., firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

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