The executive director of the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel for the U.S. Navy, Patrick O'Connell previously acted as interim director of program and strategy at HS2 (High Speed Rail 2, Ltd.), the United Kingdom's $85 billion high speed rail program. Throughout his career spanning work with the U.S. Navy, HS2, and other groups, Patrick O'Connell has enjoyed traveling around the world, including visiting the Icehotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden.
Established in 1989, the Icehotel lies north of the Arctic Circle and encourages participation from artists across the globe. A work of art recreated each year, the Icehotel showcases the efforts of a diverse range of creative individuals chosen for their innovative ideas rather than their experience working with ice. Approximately 40 artists come each year at the end of November to create the artistic exhibition, which lasts only a few months.
The structure of the Icehotel itself comes from enormous blocks of ice taken from the Torne River during the previous winter and a mixture of ice and snow known as “snice.” Following construction of the arch-shaped rooms, the artists arrive and begin transforming the structure into a work of art according to their design sketches.
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.