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Patrick O'Connell

Personal Statement

New York City is the capital of America’s $300 billion charitable giving industry, and Columbia is uniquely placed as the leading institution in the study of fundraising management. As a member of the program's first graduating class, I have seen the unequalled benefit of Columbia’s curriculum, brand, resources, network, and professors. The degree has provided me with many significant benefits, including substantial increases in salary, responsibility, and professional standing. In my current position as Head of Development at Oxford University’s Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences Division, I use my Columbia education every day and experience the benefits of the world-wide reputation of the program and University.

I am flattered to be a member of the faculty, which is unparalleled in its breadth and depth of experience. It is a privilege to teach the emerging leaders in our profession. Students in the program join us from diverse backgrounds in terms of the institutions for which they work and the life experiences they bring. In each and every class, I am continuously impressed with their curiosity and spirit.

As a board member of Birch Family Services and volunteer for Catholic Charities, philanthropy plays a great role in my life. For those who want to make a difference in the nonprofit sector, the Nonprofit Management program at Columbia University is a great place to study. No other institution combines the technical, academic, and professional aspects of philanthropy. The faculty, curriculum, and opportunities in New York City are an unrivaled combination for the nonprofit leaders of today and tomorrow.

Experience

Patrick O’Connell is the Associate Vice President of Advancement at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He leads North American development, alumni relations, and advancement services for Boldly AUB: The Campaign to Lead, Innovate, and Serve. Boldly AUB is a $650 million campaign and is the largest campaign in the region’s history.

O’Connell has more than 20 years of fundraising experience from Columbia University, the University of Oxford and WNET (PBS). As Head of Development for the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at Oxford, he led development efforts for 10 academic departments during the university’s £3 billion "Oxford Thinking" campaign. His experience extends to the $6 billion Columbia Campaign as well as the $150 million Campaign for Thirteen, the largest campaign in the history of Public Television.

A graduate of Washington and Lee University, O’Connell also has an M.S. in Nonprofit Management (2006, Class Marshal) and an MPA in Advanced Management and Finance from Columbia University. He completed his studies in 2014 by earning a certificate in Online Instruction from the University of Oxford. He has been an adjunct faculty member in the Nonprofit Management program since 2012.

O’Connell has lectured on issues of higher education philanthropy at Universitad Catholica del Chile, the University of Bologna, International House New York and at numerous CASE and AFP conferences in the United States and Europe. He teaches the graduate level course, Fundraising for Large Institutions: EDs and MEDs.

In his free time, O’Connell enjoys stand-up comedy and has performed at The Comic Strip, Caroline’s on Broadway, and the London Comedy Club. He lives in Bronxville, New York, and is a member of St. Joseph’s Parish. He enjoys spending time with his wife Antoinette and two children, James and Catherine.