A former U.S. Senator from Indiana will serve as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Joe Donnelly as ambassador to the Vatican. President Biden nominated Donnelly for the role in October.
Donnelly represented Indiana’s Second Congressional District as a Democrat from 2007 to 2013. In 2012, Donnelly defeated Republican candidate Richard Mourdock for a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he served from 2013 until 2019. He ran for a second term in 2018 and was defeated by Sen. Mike Braun.
Donnelly holds two degrees from the University of Notre Dame, including a law degree. He served as a professor of the practice at Notre Dame from 2019 to 2021, teaching courses in the Keough School of Global Affairs on American politics, public policy, and leadership. He also practiced law in Washington, D.C.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Formal diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican were established in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. The two countries partner on a number of global issues, including democracy, development and foreign aid, human rights, and human trafficking.