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Notre Dame alum and former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador

Courtesy Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame
Joe Donnelly speaks during a tribute ceremony in the Purcell Pavilion to honor the life of the late President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

University of Notre Dame alumnus and former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly has been confirmed as the United States’ Ambassador to the Holy See.

Donnelly’s nomination was announced in October and was confirmed Thursday by a voice vote in the Senate.

“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,” University President Rev. John Jenkins said in a release. “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.”

Donnelly represented Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in the state legislature from 2007 to 2013 and served one term in the U.S. Senate from 2013 to 2019.

Donnelly graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1977 and went on to attend the university’s law school. He also taught courses in American politics, public policy and leadership at the University’s Keough School of Global Affairs from 2019 to 2021.