June 7, 2019

Media Contact:
Billy Atwell
Chief Communications Officer

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge Appoints Dr. Joseph E. Vorbach, III
Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Arlington


The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge has appointed Dr. Joseph E. Vorbach, III as Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Arlington, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Vorbach is currently Head of School at Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School, in Arlington, Va. This appointment follows a search process conducted by a committee of highly-talented Catholic educators, led by the Reverend Lee Roos, Pastor of All Saints Church in Manassas. The committee reviewed applications from many qualified candidates from across the nation and recommended Dr. Vorbach as the most outstanding candidate.

Dr. Vorbach is a 1983 graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the U.S Coast Guard Academy, a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in International Relations from Tufts University and a Master’s degree in Education from Marymount University in Arlington. After a 20-year career in the U.S Coast Guard, Dr. Vorbach served briefly at the National Defense University before becoming Principal at Bishop O’Connell in 2008 and President (Head of School) in 2013.

In addition to outstanding leadership in the effort to promote the integration of the school’s Catholic identity in all areas of student life, Dr. Vorbach has achieved significant milestones in enrollment, philanthropic support, capital improvement, curricular development and inclusive education at Bishop O’Connell. Bishop Burbidge observed, “The ministry of teaching the faith is one of my greatest responsibilities as a diocesan bishop. Dr. Vorbach is a successful school administrator, a highly respected leader, and most importantly a devout Catholic gentleman who will assist me in this ministry by helping to lead our schools with great skill and an authentic witness to our faith.”

Upon accepting this appointment, Dr. Vorbach stated: “This opportunity is an honor, and I am truly humbled to have been appointed to this critical role in the Diocese of Arlington, in which I will assist in Bishop Burbidge’s teaching ministry and administration of our Catholic schools. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues in the Office of Catholic Schools to promote Catholic education and supporting the parents who entrust their children to our schools. Over the past 11 years, I have personally witnessed the great zeal for the mission of Catholic education expressed by countless people in this Diocese, and from that, I know the potential that lies ahead in what we, as the Body of Christ, can accomplish.”