Very Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M., was the president of The Catholic University of America from August 1, 1998 to July 31, 2010. A priest of the Congregation of the Mission (founded by St. Vincent de Paul and popularly known in the United States as the "Vincentians"), he was the university's 14th president. On June 4, 2010, six weeks before the end of his term as president, he was appointed bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Trenton, N.J.

Postsecondary Education

  • Niagara University, B.A., philosophy, 1978
  • Mary Immaculate Seminary, M. Div. 1981
  • Mary Immaculate Seminary, Th.M. 1983
  • The Catholic University of America, J.C.L. 1987
  • The Catholic University of America, J.C.D. 1990


  • May 29, 1982

Named Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Trenton

  • June 4, 2010


  • Teacher, Archbishop Wood High School, Pa., 1982-1985
  • Director of Student Activities, Archbishop Wood High School, Pa., 1983-1985
  • Assistant Professor, Mary Immaculate Seminary, Pa., 1987-1990
  • Registrar, Mary Immaculate Seminary, Pa., 1987-1990
  • Associate Dean, St. John's College, N.Y., 1990-1991
  • Professor, St. John's University, N.Y., 1991-1998
  • Academic Dean and Dean of Faculty, St. John's University, N.Y., 1991-1998
  • Interim Academic Vice President, Niagara University, N.Y., 1994-1995
  • Associate Vice President, St. John's University, N.Y., 1995-1998
  • Assistant Legal Counsel, St. John's University, N.Y., 1996-1998
  • President, The Catholic University of America, 1998-present
  • Consultor, Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education, 2005-present
  • Professor, John Joseph Keane University Professor, CUA, 2006-present

Ecclesiastical Appointments

  • Chair, Committee for Conciliation and Arbitration, Congregation of the Mission, Eastern Province, USA
  • Policies Committee, Congregation of the Mission, Eastern Province, USA
  • Ecclesiastical Judge and Canonical Consultant,
  • Diocese of Harrisburg, 1987-1998
  • Diocese of Scranton, 1988-1998
  • Diocese of Birmingham, 1987-1993


  • D.C. Area Health Education Center Advisory Board
  • Trustee, New Advent Theological Institute and St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colo.
  • Council of Priests, Archdiocese of Washington, 1999-2001
  • Action Institute, Catholic High School Honor Roll Advisory Board
  • Trustee, Pope John Paul II Cultural Center
  • Trustee, St. John's University, Jamaica, N.Y., 1998-2003, 2008 to present
  • Trustee Emeritus, Niagara University
  • Trustee, Archbishop John Carroll High School, Washington, D.C., 1998-2001
  • Trustee, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Trustee, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
  • Greater Washington Board of Trade/Federal City Council
  • University of St. Thomas Law School Advisory Board, St. Paul, Minn., 1999-2000
  • Canon Law Society of America
  • Eastern Regional Canon Lawyers Association
  • Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • American Conference of Academic Deans, 1991-1998
  • Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences, 1991-1998
  • Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Washington, D.C., 1999
  • Knights of Malta, Federal Association
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Knights of Constantinian Order of St. George
  • University Club of D.C.
  • Bishops and Presidents Committee, USCCB, 2001-June 2006
  • Metropolitan Club


  • Honorary Doctorate, Chung Yuan Christian University
  • Honorary Doctorate, Carroll College
  • Honorary Doctorate, Gannon University
  • Honorary Doctorate, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Honorary Doctorate, St. Thomas Aquinas College
  • Honorary Doctorate, St. Charles Seminary
  • President's Medal, St. John's University
  • Honorary Doctorate, St. John's University
  • 2006 NCEA St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award
  • Honorary Doctorate, Niagara University

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