Assistant Secretary of Defense to discuss war on terror, special operations during URI web chat, Feb. 1

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KINGSTON, R.I. – January 23, 2007 – Thomas O’Connell, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for special operations/low intensity conflict, will answer questions about military special operations and the war on terror during a University of Rhode Island online chat on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m.

A 1968 alumnus of URI, O’Connell served as a senior manager for Raytheon Co.’s intelligence and information systems division and was a task force member of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. He has had military assignments in 33 countries and served for three years at the CIA as deputy for command support.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancement’s electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go to for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the University’s website once the chat has been completed. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URI’s online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question-and-answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kaufman talking about the making of Born into Brothels, as well as with URI administrators, faculty and coaches.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the web site.