Patrick Connell is a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He began serving as Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in January 2021 and as Deputy Chief of Mission in July 2020. Prior to arriving at the Vatican, Mr. Connell led a team of diplomats, USAID officers, and U.S. Army Special Operations Forces providing stabilization and humanitarian aid in Northeast Syria as the Forward Leader of the Syria Transition Assistance Response Team, aimed at securing the enduring defeat of ISIS.
Earlier assignments include as the Political and Economic Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus; the Senior United Kingdom and Ireland Desk Officer at the State Department in Washington, D.C.; a Political Officer at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; a Political-Military Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq; the Human Rights Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece; a Consular Officer and Political-Economic Officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Melbourne, Australia; and as an Assistant Public Affairs Officer at the then U.S. Office in Pristina, Kosovo. Before joining the State Department, Mr. Connell was a practicing attorney who served as a prosecutor in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts for 8 years and in private practice for 4 years.
A native of Westford, Massachusetts, Mr. Connell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and English from Villanova University and a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. He has studied Italian, Greek, Albanian, and Turkish, and is the recipient of several State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor awards and the 2015 Sinclaire Language Award for both Greek and Turkish. In 2020 he was selected as the runner up for the Ryan Crocker Award for Outstanding Leadership in Expeditionary Diplomacy. He is joined by his wife, Hyrije Kryeziu Connell.