Jock O'Connell is widely regarded as one of California's foremost
authorities on world trade, global economic trends, and the internationalization of the Golden State's economy. A former advisor
to the California Commission for Economic Development and a current member of the California Economic Strategy Panel's Technical
Advisory Group, he is the Principal Consultant of The ClarkStreetGroup, a private firm specializing in the analysis of economic
and political trends affecting international commerce. He is also the author of numerous articles on economic, political and
trade issues that have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury-News,
Sacramento Bee, and the California Journal.
Mr. O'Connell received his B.A. in political science from the College of
the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and later pursued a doctoral degree in international relations at the University
of California at Davis. He has also studied at the Institute of European Studies (University of Vienna) in Austria and at
the London School of Economics, where he was a Fulbright Scholar.
He has been a lecturer at the University of California at Davis and at California
State University, Sacramento.
Career History: Private Sector 1989-Present
In January 1989, Mr. O'Connell established his own independent consultancy.
Initially, the firm worked primarily with small and medium-sized foreign companies pursuing business opportunities in California
and other states. The specific tasks involved were: market assessments, development of market entry strategies, identification
of potential joint venture partners, site location analyzes, as well as negotiations with state and local authorities. For
several years, the firm also published a monthly newsletter, "The O'Connell Memorandum," which monitored developments at the
state capitol in Sacramento that were relevant to foreign business concerns. Over time, the focus of the firm's activities
shifted to include working with U.S. companies pursuing business opportunities abroad.
Career History: Public Sector 1974-1989
Mr. O'Connell's experience in dealing with government agencies began when
he joined the California Legislative Analyst's Office in 1974-75 to document irregularities in community college financing.
In 1977-78, he was a member of and eventually Acting Director of the Regulatory Review Task Force in the Department of Consumer
Affairs. The task force conducted a critical assessment of state regulatory boards and bureaus.
In 1980, he joined the staff of then Assemblyman Mike Gage (D-Napa) as chief
legislative aide. In November of that year, he accompanied Mr. Gage on a trip to China which featured a number of meetings
at the direct behest of then Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. to facilitate commercial and cultural links between California
In 1981-82, Mr. O'Connell was a senior staff member at the state Office of
Economic Opportunity, where he authored OEO's 1982 study, "Poverty in California."
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. From 1983
through January 1989, he was the international business advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, Leo McCarthy, and to the California
Commission for Economic Development. During that same period, he was also retained as a consultant on two major projects for
the California State World Trade Commission. He also was asked to assist the Chair of the Assembly International Trade Committee
in the preparation of trade legislation.
In addition to counseling many of the state's political leaders on global
economic trends and how they were affecting California, Mr. O'Connell authored "An International Trade Policy for California"
in 1986 for the California Commission for Economic Development and co-authored "California's Export Statistics," a 1988 study
for the California State World Trade Commission.
Mr. O'Connell also 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. On behalf of the Commission for Economic Development, he undertook briefing missions to
the Far East and to Great Britain in 1985 to inform foreign government officials and business leaders on progress toward unitary
tax reform. In a 1985 article, The Times of London identified Mr. O'Connell as "one of the state's leading experts
on the politics of the unitary tax."
While often quoted in the media on economic or trade issues, Mr. O'Connell
has himself written and lectured extensively on economic affairs, politics, international trade and foreign investment. Articles
he has authored have appeared in The The New York Times along with the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury-News,
and San Francisco Chronicle . He has been a frequent contributor to the Sunday Forum section of the Sacramento Bee.
All of his published essays, which are listed below, may be accessed via this website.
In addition to his writing, Mr. O'Connell has spoken before many business
groups and other organizations over the years. Among the more prominent audiences he has addressed have been: the Institute
for USA and Canada Studies in Moscow; Japan's Keidanren in Tokyo; the Confederation of British Industry in London; the Foreign
Trade Association of Southern California in Los Angeles; and the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco. Mr. O'Connell
has also been invited to participate as a guest speaker at a number of international conferences and symposia. These include:
East-West, a 1990 symposium in Linz, Austria on the topic of doing business in Eastern Europe; UTEC 1993, Europe's largest
annual conference and trade show devoted to environmental technology; and a 1995 European Union symposium on small business
development programs held in Oslo, Norway, where Mr. O'Connell gave the keynote address.
Locally, Mr. O'Connell has been active in efforts by leading business and
political figures in the Sacramento region to develop a consensus for guiding the region's future growth and economic development.
In April 2004, Mr. O'Connell was named to the California Economic Strategy Panel's Technical Advisory Group.
The son of a labor union leader, Mr. O'Connell was born on 8 December 1947
in Portland, Maine. He grew up in that city and attended public schools before graduating from Cheverus, a Jesuit preparatory
school in Portland. He is an avid sea-kayaker and an occasional book reviewer. He moved to California in 1970.