<< See all Nonprofit Management faculty

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.


Patrick O'Connell is Head of Development for the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. He leads development efforts across 10 academic departments for capital, endowment, faculty, and student support as a part of the £3 billion Oxford Thinking campaign. Patrick has held principal and major gift positions at Weill Cornell, WNET (PBS), and Columbia University. He has more than 15 years of experience in campaign fundraising.

O’Connell received a B.S. in Business Administration from Washington and Lee University and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Columbia where he was Class Marshall. He completed his studies at Columbia in 2009 when he received an M.P.A. in Advanced Management and Finance.

He is currently enrolled at Oxford and studies Online Education and Instruction. O'Connell is the founder and former Chairman of the Young Development Professionals of New York City, a volunteer at Catholic Charities, and an Associate Board member of Birch Family Services.