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Former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly nominated to be Vatican ambassador

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

Another Hoosier is joining the Biden administration. The president Friday nominated former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly to be ambassador to the Vatican.

Donnelly – like Biden, a Catholic – had campaigned for Biden, writing an op-ed last year talking about their shared faith tradition.

The Hoosier Democrat graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in political science and went on to earn his law degree from the university four years later.

Elected in 2006, he served three terms in the U.S. House representing Indiana's 2nd congressional district — which includes Notre Dame — before winning the race to replace former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in 2012. He lost his re-election bid in 2018 to now Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

His appointment as ambassador to the Holy See must be confirmed by the Senate.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.