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Dan O’Connor

Professor Harvard Business School

Dan O’Connor is a recognized educator, thought leader and advisor focused on the future of commerce and work. His research is supported by many of the world’s most innovative brands, retailers, and digital platform companies. Senior executives, policymakers, and academics widely reference his future views. He is a published case writer and speaker and teaches extensively. His work has appeared in the WSJ, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic, CNBC, Alibaba’s Alizila, HBS’s “Managing the Future of Work” podcast, and other major media outlets.

Dan has extensive private investment experience, ranging from early-stage funding to largescale, leveraged buyouts. Rockhurst Ventures, his investment vehicle, has a highly specialized investment team. It focuses on ideas where significant consumer, societal, technology, and industry change is underway. Its investments include innovative consumer brands, B2B and consumer services, store-based and automated retail models, digital commerce, data/analytics-based entities, and aging based services such as assisted living.

Dan’s board/governance experience has extended over 20 years with companies such as Benchmark Assisted Living, Daymon Worldwide (now a Bain Capital investment), Coinstar (Redbox), DemandWare (now Salesforce B2C Commerce), as well as Premier Retail Networks. Earlier in his career, Dan founded MVI/Kantar Retail, a syndicated research firm that followed the world’s largest retailers. He sold this company to WPP Group in 2001. Dan started his career with Ernst & Young and later became a national director of Touche, Ross & Co.’s (now Deloitte) Consumer Products & Retail Consulting Group.

In addition to his volunteer efforts at Harvard, he supports selected mission-based nonprofits focused on community music education, library modernization, US historical experiences for 1st generation elementary school children, and the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund that awards millions in need-based college scholarships each year to deserving young men and women.