James O’Connor, Jr.


James J. O’Connor, Jr., is the global head of venture capital and managing director of William Blair & Company, a global investment banking and wealth management firm. O’Connor has held previous leadership positions at MVC Capital and Motorola Ventures, which he co-founded. As leader of Motorola’s Innovation Program, he built several high growth businesses for the corporation, including the initial successful launch of the development team for the Google-Motorola “Droid” product. O’Connor sits on the boards of directors of Chicago Urban League, Kohl Children’s Museum, the Field Museum, Big Shoulders Fund and Children’s Home + Aid. He is chairman and co-founder of 1871 and has been named an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Leadership Fellow. O’Connor holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Georgetown University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Appointed in 2017 by the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago