Michael O’Connor, the newest member of the Board of Commissioners, took the oath of office at this week’s work session on Wednesday night at Broad Ripple High School. O’Connor was sworn in by Marion County Judge David Shaheed. His wife Anne Mullin O’Connor also was in attendance.
O’Connor will serve in IPS District 1 on the city’s Eastside, filling the remainder of the term vacated last month by former Commissioner Caitlin Hannon.
“I look forward to serving on the Board and working with my fellow Commissioners, Dr. Ferebee and the IPS staff to make sure we are providing high-quality school options for families and students across Indianapolis,” O’Connor said.
“I have partnered on many important issues in our City and State over the year, but this opportunity stands out because our schools and teachers shape so many lives for decades to come, and it doing so shape our community for generations to come. We have a chance to transform IPS into a high-performing urban school model that can be replicated by other major cities, and I’m excited to join the good work being done by Dr. Ferebee and my fellow Commissioners.
O’Connor currently serves as the Director of State Government Affairs for Eli Lilly and Company. He has primary responsibility for developing and implementing Lilly Corporate strategy as it involves Indiana government at every level and is responsible for managing Lilly’s interaction with all governmental entities in the state. O’Connor is also the Indiana Task Force Chair of PhRMA overseeing the pharmaceutical industry’s extensive involvement in the State of Indiana.
O’Connor has served in various capacities at all levels of government, most recently as former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson’s Chief Deputy Mayor and Chief of Staff. In that position, O’Connor acted as the Chief Operations Officer of the City and managed all economic development and public safety areas that reported to the Mayor’s office.
Prior to serving as Chief Deputy Mayor, O’Connor was Associate Administrator at the U.S. EPA in Washington DC, and served as Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management under Govs. Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon. O’Connor is also a former elected official, serving on the Greenfield City Council from 1987-1991.
O’Connor is a member of the United Way of Central Indiana’s Executive Committee and has served as Vice-Chair of the United Way’s Ready to Learn, Ready to Earn committee, chair of the agency’s Success by Six committee and currently chairs the United Way’s Public Policy Committee. O’Connor serves on the Board of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana as chair of the Board’s public policy committee and the Goodwill Educational Initiatives board of directors. Additionally, O’Connor chairs the Bishop Simon Brute’ Seminary Advisory Board.
O’Connor graduated in 1986 from Indiana University, Bloomington with a BA in Political Science. He was born and raised in Greenfield, graduating from Greenfield Central High School in 1982. He and his wife, Anne, are the proud parents of Mary Catherine and Eileen Marie O’Connor. They currently reside in the Indianapolis neighborhood of Irvington and attend Holy Spirit Catholic Church.