Having led multiple biotech organization in the Garden State, Daniel J. O’Connor speaks from deep experience as vice chairman of BioNJ, the trade association that represents one of New Jersey’s most vibrant industries.
Born in Mineola, New York, Dan obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and American literature from Boston College in 1987, and graduated from the Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University with his J.D. in 1995. Between college and law school, Dan graduated from the United States Marines Officers School and served as a captain with the first deployment of U.S. Marines in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
A penchant for hard work came to him early when, at the age of 14, he did yard work for 85-year-old Mr. Carlebon and housework for a similarly-aged widow, Mrs. Tearse, both of whom he remembers with great fondness. Most recently, as president and CEO of Advaxis, Inc., for four years, he brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy, raising more than $250 million in funding and launching multiple global clinical trials to treat patients with cancer. Before Advaxis, he has held positions with multiple healthcare groups, including a vice presidency with ImClone Systems from 2003 to 2008 and Bracco Diagnostics from 2009 to 2012.
Dan is a second-generation Irish American. His paternal grandfather, James Joseph O’Connor, was born in Bailieborough, County Cavan, and inspired Dan’s ability to embrace opportunity and hard work alike. That heritage, he says, “is the source of my love of home, family and of course, a cold beer when the day is done.” Daniel and his wife Kathleen are based in New Jersey and have three sons, John, James, and William.