Army Reserve officer nominated as Veterans Affairs commissioner
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has put forward Lt. Col. Sean Connolly of Hebron as his choice to succeed Linda Schwartz as the state's Veterans Affairs commissioner. Connolly must first, however, be confirmed by the General Assembly.
Connolly serves in the 655th Regional Support Group of the U.S. Army Reserve and works with Pratt & Whitney as its Global Ethics and Compliance Officer. He is a veteran of the Iraq War.
"As a veteran myself, who continues to wear the uniform in the Army Reserve, I am deeply humbled and grateful for this chance to serve the veterans of the State of Connecticut," Connolly said in a statement. "Our veterans and their families face significant challenges against homelessness, physical and mental health concerns, finding and transitioning to good civilian jobs, and getting the support they so deeply deserve. Working together, we will build a world-class Veterans' Affairs program. Those who have selflessly served our state and nation deserve no less."
Schwartz resigned last fall after being appointed by President Barack Obama to serve in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Joseph Perkins, deputy commissioner under Schwartz, has been serving as acting commissioner in the interim.
Previously, Connolly served as a senior associate at Greenberg Traurig LLP in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Government Contracts and Homeland Security Practice Groups. He also previously served on active duty for more than seven years as an Army judge advocate in a variety of positions.
He received his undergraduate degree from Bryant University, cum laude, and his juris doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.
His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (two awards), the Army Achievement Medal (two awards), the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said: "As ranking member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I look forward to working closely with Commissioner Connolly as we strive to ensure that all veterans in Connecticut and nationwide receive the support and services they need and deserve."
Connolly's wife, Carol, is a lawyer. The couple have two children, Sean and Brendan. He will begin serving on March 16.
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