Meet Sean Connolly
Sean Connolly is a bold leader currently serving our country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a decorated Iraq War veteran who worked his way up the ranks of Pratt & Whitney, and he most recently served as Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Veterans Affairs.
The son of a working-class Irish immigrant, Sean grew up in East Hartford where he learned the value of hard work from an early age. His father owned and operated a small landscaping business, and his grandparents worked in maintenance and at the Pratt & Whitney factory. Sean got his first job at 15, washing dishes at Beefsteak Charlie’s to help his family pay the bills and help pay for college.
Sean served seven years on active duty with the U.S. Army. A veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, he earned the Bronze Star, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
During his time in the military, Sean earned the respect of those around him, serving with honor as Prosecutor and Brigade Legal Advisor with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as well as in Kuwait and Iraq. He also served as Assistant Legal Advisor and Executive Officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Appointing Authority for Military Commissions.
When his time on active duty drew to a close, Sean worked in Washington as a Homeland Security and Government Contracts attorney for an international law firm. But his heart remained in Connecticut, and in 2010, he returned to his home state after taking a job at Pratt & Whitney.
Sean rose to the rank of Global Ethics and Compliance Officer at the same company where his grandfather was once the groundskeeper. Like his grandparents and parents, Sean and his wife chose Connecticut as the place they would stay and raise their family.
Connecticut took note of Sean’s track record for success, and he was appointed to run the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. There, Sean modernized transitional housing and veterans services. He created partnerships with sister state agencies and nonprofits to give our veterans more services and higher quality care. He won additional funding from the federal government through competitive grants to update decaying infrastructure—all while operating under a shrinking budget from the state.
Sean values service above politics. He is a member of American Legion Post 95 in Hebron, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8776 in Hebron, the 101st Airborne Division Association, the Association of the United States Army, and the Army Aviation Association of America. He also served as an elected member of the National Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association and is a past President of the Pentagon Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
A graduate of the U.S. Army War College, Bryant University, and the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, Sean has the experience and drive to lead Connecticut from the front.
Sean lives in Hebron with his wife, Carol A. Connolly, Esq., their two boys—Sean and Brendan—and their rescue puppy, Lucky.