by Jock O'Connell
The Curriculum Vitae: 1997
Jock O'Connell is an international business consultant and economic/political affairs writer who grew up on the coast of Maine and now lives in northern California. He is widely regarded as one of California's foremost authorities on world trade, global economic trends, and the internationalization of the California economy.
For several years beginning in the early 1980's, Mr. O'Connell was directly involved in developing the State of California's programs to promote exports and attract foreign direct investment. For over five years, he was an advisor on the staff of the California Commission for Economic Development. He was also a consultant from time to time to the California World Trade Commission, the State Assembly's Committee on International Trade, and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Moreover, he advised the U.S. Department of State and government officials from several of California's principal trading partners on issues relating to the state's controversial unitary method of taxing multinational corporations. In a 1987 report, The New York Times identified Mr. O'Connell as "the state's leading expert on the politics of the unitary tax."
While often quoted in newspapers and magazines, Mr. O'Connell has himself written and lectured extensively on economic affairs, politics, international trade and foreign investment. Articles he has authored have appeared on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times along with the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury-News, and San Francisco Chronicle. Furthermore, he has been a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the Sacramento Bee, the leading daily newspaper in California's state capital. His most recent essays have dealt with the effects of the Asian financial crisis on California, the problems of economic forecasting in a rapidly changing global economy, and the severe constraints on the ability of California's governor to influence the course of the world's seventh largest economy.
(All newspaper and magazine articles written by Mr. O'Connell over the last ten years can be accessed by clicking on the Essays link below.)
Mr. O'Connell is the author of "An International Trade Policy for California" (1986) and is the principal co-author of "California's Export Statistics," a 1988 study of California's overseas markets. He has also been a lecturer at the University of California at Davis and at California State University, Sacramento. Among the more prominent business groups and other organizations Mr. O'Connell has addressed over the years are the Institute for USA and Canada Studies in Moscow (1976), Japan's Keidanren in Tokyo (1985), the Confederation of British Industry in London (1985), the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California in Los Angeles (1989), and the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco (1993). Mr. O'Connell has also spoken at a number of international conferences and symposia, including UTEC '93, Europe's largest annual conference and trade show devoted to environmental technology. There, in October 1993, he spoke on the usefulness of joint ventures between small and medium-sized US and European environmental technology firms. In December 1995, he delivered the keynote address at a European Union symposium on small business development programs held in Oslo, Norway.
Born in 1947 in Portland, Maine, Mr. O'Connell received his A.B. in political science from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and later pursued doctoral studies in international relations at the University of California at Davis. He also studied at the Institute of European Studies in Vienna and at the London School of Economics, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
Locally, Mr. O'Connell is a participant in the Green Valley Initiative, a group of leading business figures in the Sacramento region whose goal is to develop a consensus for guiding the region's future growth and economic development. He is also an avid sea-kayaker and an occasional book reviewer.