In his current assignment, Rear Adm. William C. Donnell directs and oversees U.S. Coast Guard human resource workforce management; leadership development; health and safety; education and training; and worklife support programs.
A Massachusetts native, Rear Adm. Donnell graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 1959 and sailed with American Export Lines as a deck officer before entering Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in 1961. He completed flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas, and served as a search and rescue pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Brooklyn, New York, and Air Detachment Quonset Point Rhode Island. Rear Adm. Donnell completed aircraft maintenance officer training; served as an Aviation Engineering Officer in Guam, the Marianas Islands, and Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas; and on the Aeronautical Engineering Division staff, Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
In 1976, Rear Adm. Donnell earned a Masters of Business Administration from American University, Washington, D.C.; he subsequently completed these assignments:
- Chief of the Aeronautical in Engineering Division, Coast Guard Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala, 1976-1979
- Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico, 1979-1981
- Coast Guard Liaison to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, and Logistics, Coast Guard Headquarters, 1981-1983
- Commander Group/Air Station Astoria, Oregon, 1983-1985
- Chief, Officer Personnel Division, Headquarters, 1985-1987
- Deputy Chief, Officer of Personnel, Headquarters, 1987-1988
- Deputy Chief of Staff, Headquarters, 1988-1990
- Upon promotion to Flag Rank, Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1990-1993
- Director of Resources, Coast Guard Headquarters, 1993-1994
- Chief, Office of Personnel and Training, 1944-1995
- Chief, Human Resources Directorate, 1995-1997
Rear Adm. Donnell has earned two Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Coast Guard Meritorious Service medals, and two Coast Guard Commendation medals. He is the reigning Ancient Albatross of Coast Guard Aviation, holding the earliest designator as an active duty Coast Guard aviator.
Married to the former Patricia A. of Newport, Rhode Island, he and his wife have three children: Kathryn, John, and William.