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carol oconnell headshot - Carol Thompson O'Connell

Carol Thompson O’Connell

Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State

Carol Thompson O’Connell has served as Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) since early 2018. She became Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for PRM in January 2018. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs from March 2017 to January 2018 and prior to that from 2006 to 2009. In this capacity, Ms. O’Connell oversaw health issues, public diplomacy and public affairs efforts, and Southern African Affairs for the Bureau of African Affairs. 

Prior to joining the Department of State, Ms. O’Connell served as the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) at the White House from 2004 to 2006. In doing so, she spearheaded the United States government’s response to both domestic and international HIV/AIDS issues, coordinating policy across federal agencies. Ms. O’Connell joined ONAP in November 2002 as the Deputy Director. In this role, she participated in the development and implementation of PEPFAR. In 2001, she joined the Office of the Chief of Staff at the White House, having previously worked on health care and trade policy issues at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, respectively. 

Ms. O’Connell has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Los Angeles.