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Biden appoints Notre Dame alumnus Joe Donnelly ambassador to the Vatican

| Friday, October 8, 2021

President Joe Biden nominated Joe Donnelly, who holds two degrees from Notre Dame, as U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican.

Donnelly earned an undergraduate degree in political science in 1977 and graduated from the Notre Dame Law School four years later, in 1981.

He served as Indiana’s senator from 2013 to 2019 and will now oversee the relationship between the United States and the Catholic Church. He will serve at the Embassy to the Holy See in Rome, working on issues ranging from democracy and security to human rights and religious dialogue.

Donnelly also represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the House from 2007 to 2013. During the 2020 election, he publicly defended the President’s Catholic faith.

Donnelly has also maintained connections to his alma matter. He taught a course for political science students in 2019 and honored the University in a speech submitted to the Congressional Record in 2012.

University President John Jenkins congratulated Donnelly Friday afternoon.

“Joe has been an exemplary public servant in Congress, an invaluable friend of Notre Dame and of me personally, and he is an ideal choice to represent the United States at the Vatican,” Jenkins said in a press release. “He will bring to this role a deep understanding of the issues currently facing our nation and the world, a genuine Catholic faith and an understanding of the role the Church can play in our world.”

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