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Patrick O'Connell

Lecturer, Nonprofit Management; Associate Vice President of Advancement, American University of Beirut (AUB)

Personal Statement

New York City is the capital of America’s $400 billion charitable giving industry, and Columbia is uniquely placed as the leading institution in the study of nonprofit management. As a member of the program’s first graduating class, I have seen the unequaled 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 the Associate Vice President of Advancement at the American University of Beirut (AUB), I use my Columbia education every day and experience the benefits of the worldwide 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 donor to ASD causes and a volunteer at 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 in such a relevant and practical way. 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 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.

O’Connell has lectured on issues of higher education philanthropy at the University of Oxford, Universitad Catholica del Chile, Università di Bologna, Nelson Mandela University, International House New York, and at numerous CASE and AFP conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe. At Columbia, he teaches the graduate-level course, Fundraising for Large Institutions: EDs and MEDs. He has been a lecturer in the M.S. in Nonprofit Management program since 2012.

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.


  • NOPM PS5340: Fundraising for Large Institutions: EDs and MEDs


  • Certificate, University of Oxford
  • M.P.A., Columbia University
  • M.S., Columbia University (Class Marshall)
  • B.S., Washington and Lee University