Sean Connolly is a bold leader who is currently serving his country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. Sean also most recently served the State of Connecticut as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.
An East Hartford native, Sean was raised to value hard work. His father, an Irish immigrant, chose Connecticut as his home where he owned and operated a small landscaping business. Sean’s mother was a secretary in the East Hartford public schools and his maternal grandparents, also Irish immigrants, worked in maintenance and in the factory beginning in the 1940s at Pratt & Whitney. Sean followed suit, washing dishes at Beefsteak Charlie’s at age 15, and cutting lawns and bussing and waiting tables throughout high school and college to help pay the bills.
Results-driven, Sean has the business background that will enable him to find pragmatic solutions to Connecticut’s problems so that our state enters a new era of prosperity and growth. After over seven years of active duty in the Army and a stint working as a Homeland Security and Government Contracts attorney in private practice in Washington, D.C., Sean and his family returned home to Connecticut in 2010 and Sean took a job in the Military Engines Division of Pratt & Whitney where he rose to the position of the company’s Global Ethics and Compliance Officer. Like his grandparents and parents, Sean and his wife chose Connecticut as the place they would stay and raise their family.
Sean is a public servant, not a career politician, with a demonstrated track record of making state government work for its citizens through partnerships and bipartisan consensus. Under his leadership at the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, the Agency modernized its Veterans’ transitional housing and wrap-around services program with innovative ideas and collaborations developed through groundbreaking partnerships with sister state agencies, non-profit organizations, and Veteran Service Organizations resulting in enhanced and additional services for Connecticut Veterans. He increased Federal revenue to the State through diligent management without additional expense to state taxpayers and brought in millions of dollars in Federal grants for Veteran cemetery projects and to update decaying infrastructure, all while operating on a continuously reduced budget.
Sean served on active duty for more than seven years and is a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was a 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.
In 2017, Sean graduated from the U.S. Army War College. His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He is also entitled to wear the Air Assault Badge and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.
An attorney, Sean received his undergraduate degree from Bryant University and his Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. 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.
Sean is married to Carol A. Connolly, Esq. They have two boys, Sean (11) and Brendan (8) and a rescue puppy, Lucky, and they make their home in Hebron.