Michal Szczerba ends mandate as Assembly President, is succeeded by Gerald E. Connolly as Acting President

21 June 2024

In a letter addressed to members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, former President Michal Szczerba (Poland) informed his parliamentary colleagues that, following his election as a Member of the European Parliament, his mandate as NATO PA President has come to an end. Mr Szczerba will continue to serve as Head of the Polish delegation to the NATO PA until the inaugural session of the European Parliament on 16 July. 

“I have done my utmost to advocate for, and carry forward, the Assembly’s priorities at what is a pivotal moment for Euro-Atlantic security”, Mr Szczerba wrote to his NATO PA counterparts. “You can rest assured that I will continue to do everything in my power to support Ukraine and remain a steadfast advocate for the NATO Alliance and for the Assembly in the European Parliament.”  

Since 2007, Mr Szczerba was a member of the Assembly for about 15 years. He held a range of leadership roles in the Economics and Security Committee, serving successively as Chair and Rapporteur of the Sub-Committee on Transition and Development. In 2022-2023, he served as Co-Chairperson of the Ukraine-NATO Interparliamentary Council (UNIC). He was elected NATO PA Vice President in November 2022 and President at the Annual Session in Copenhagen in October 2023. 

As President, Mr Szczerba carried Allied parliamentarians’ voice at a critical moment for Euro-Atlantic security. He continued to rally the Assembly around its resolute stance on Russia's unjustified and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine as well as on its unwavering support for Ukraine’s democracy, independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-defence as well as for Ukraine’s NATO membership. 

He also continued to advocate for the strengthening of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in a strategic environment marked by renewed strategic competition and for the need for NATO to step up its role in defending Allied democracies, including through the establishment of a Centre for Democratic Resilience at NATO Headquarters – a long-standing Assembly recommendation. 

Following a unanimous decision by the NATO PA Bureau, Gerald E. Connolly (United States) has now assumed the role as Acting President to fulfil the remainder of Mr Szczerba’s mandate. 

Hon. Connolly has been a member of the NATO PA since 2013 and was Assembly President from November 2020 to November 2022. He currently is a member of the Political Committee and a Vice-Chairperson of its Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships. 

Congressman Connolly is the US representative for Virginia’s 11th congressional district and is a Democrat. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2008. He is a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation. Congressman Connolly is also a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. 

Before becoming a member of parliament, Connolly worked from 1979 to 1989 with the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where he managed committee oversight of international economic issues, international narcotics control, and United Nations and Middle East policies, and published reports on U.S. policy in El Salvador, Central America, Israel, and the Persian Gulf region. From 1989 to 1997, he was Vice President of the Washington Office of SRI International. He was also Director of Community Relations for SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation). 

Hon Connolly has a B.A. in literature and completed a Master of Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

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