Pictured: Kevin O’Connor walks with then-Vice President Joe Biden during the Obama administration era.
The role is not unfamiliar to O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009 and previously served under two other White House administrations. He first came on board in 2006 during the Bush-Cheney administration and expected to finish his three-year military assignment within a few months after President Barack Obama was sworn in, but then-Vice President Biden asked O’Connor to stay on.
“We are apolitical,” O’Connor said to The Box in a past interview. “He’s never asked me if I am a Republican or a Democrat, and I’ve never asked him,” he added joking, “though I think he’s a Democrat.”
As noted by White House officials, their long history and personal relationship was the reason that President Biden asked O’Connor to return.
O’Connor enrolled in NYITCOM after attending college on an Army ROTC scholarship. While on campus, he had a life-changing encounter with Army Maj. Gen. Philip Volpe (D.O. ’83) that forever shaped O’Connor’s aspirations and career path. After graduating from NYITCOM, he served 22 years with the U.S. Army, including tours of duty with the 82nd Airborne Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, and U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Following the Obama administration, O’Connor retired from the military and served as the founding director of Executive Medicine at George Washington University, while also continuing to serve as Biden’s personal doctor. While the role of White House physician is traditionally a military assignment, O’Connor will not rejoin the military, making him the first non-active-duty doctor to serve as physician to the president in nearly 30 years.
O’Connor will be the second New York Institute of Technology alumnus to serve in the White House under the Biden Administration. Karine Jean-Pierre (B.S. ’97) has been appointed principal deputy press secretary, as noted in The New York Times.
Media coverage about O’Connor’s appointment: