Patrick O'Connell has a leadership background spanning the public and private sectors, and serves as executive director of the U.S. Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel. Previously engaged as interim director of program and strategy with High Speed Rail 2 Ltd. (HS2), Patrick O'Connell led the early stage planning of a major $85-billion UK transportation project designed to link London with cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, and Manchester.
As reported in New Civil Engineer, plans on how to connect Scottish rail links with the English HS2 system are being developed, with a pair of in-depth feasibility studies having been commissioned in 2018.
Sponsored by Transport Scotland, the first study is being undertaken by the Scotland Working Group and focuses on ways of improving specific connections. These include the west coast main line (WCML), which connects Abington with Glasgow, and the east coast main line (ECML), which connects Edinburgh and Newcastle.
With a second study in the works, the plan is to submit a business plan to both the British and Scottish governments by late 2019. HS2 has already had a positive impact on the Scottish economy, with Mott MacDonald placing 300 employees and apprentices on HS2 construction sites along the West Midlands section of the rail route.
Patrick O’Connell, an executive director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel for the U.S. Navy, was recruited to transform business and technology operations that are currently used to manage Navy personnel. Prior to his position with the U.S. Navy, Patrick O’Connell was an interim director of program and strategy for High Speed Rail 2 Ltd. (HS2) in London, England. The ambitious rail project will improve and transform Britain’s transportation network. Planners of the HS2 have worked to minimize the environmental impact of the project on Britain’s countryside.
The HS2 project is the largest infrastructure project currently underway in Europe. Experts predict that it will dramatically impact Britain’s economy as well as ease the stress that is placed on the country’s current rail network. A project of this magnitude will have inevitable effects on the natural landscape. However, designers have set into motion several protective measures that will ease the environmental impact of the new high-speed railway.
Most importantly, a green corridor is planned for the majority of the rail line. Designers aim to restore ecosystems that are disrupted during construction by rebuilding woodlands, meadows, wetlands, and ponds. Keeping local culture in mind, landscape designers are also drawing on feedback from local communities and planting over seven million plants that are native to the disrupted areas. Community greenspaces will also be built along the line. These spaces are intended to bring people together in the natural environment. In addition, planners of the line intend to build large portions underground to minimize its environmental impact.
Having guided High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd. as the interim director of program and strategy, Patrick O’Connell was engaged in the foundational planning involved in an $85 billion high-speed rail network that will connect much of the United Kingdom. Leveraging the operational planning experience he gained with HS2, Patrick O’Connell presently serves as the executive director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel.
As reported in Military.com, the Navy has plans to expand its fleet to 326 ships while taking on 21,000 additional sailors by 2023. In tandem with this, a key focus, announced by the Chief of Naval Operations at an online all-hands meeting, is to give commanding officers expanded powers in recognizing top talent. This reflects officers’ ability to accurately assess those personnel whom they interact with on a day-to-day basis.
In addition, petty officers willing to take on "hard jobs in hard locations” will have expanded opportunities for promotion within the re-envisioned Navy. Regardless of the duration spent in a grade, taking on challenging responsibilities will offer immediate promotion. For example, a chief advances to senior chief, and senior chief advances to master chief. Such positions set out within the pilot Advancement to Vacancy program span strategic locations such as Hawaii and Japan as well as the continental United States.
The chief of naval personnel for the United States Navy, Patrick O’Connell has more than three decades of public and private senior executive experience.