Timothy O’Connor appointed executive vice president

by Eva Kiesler, managing editor

Timothy O’Connor

As executive vice president, Timothy O’Connor is tasked with further streamlining the university’s operations.

The Rockefeller Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of Timothy O’Connor as executive vice president of the university, effective February 17.

In his former role as chief of staff and vice president, Dr. O’Connor provided high-level support to president Marc Tessier-Lavigne while overseeing the university’s day-to-day operations as well as its long-term initiatives, including the ongoing construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-David Rockefeller River Campus. His promotion is expected to further integrate the university’s executive administrative functions and facilitate the transition to the next president.

In his new role, Dr. O’Connor will continue to oversee most university operations—including research support, technology transfer, information technology, and other research and service activities currently under his purview. His portfolio will now also include finance, investments, human resources, and legal affairs. Working in partnership with the other executive officers, he will provide administrative leadership to the university, and continue to advise and represent the president, both internally and externally.

“Tim’s skillful management has contributed significantly to the university’s recent progress,” says Dr. Tessier-Lavigne. “His expanded role will enable a more streamlined operational structure, and a coordinated focus on supporting the transformative research at the core of Rockefeller’s mission.”

A versatile vocation

Dr. O’Connor’s career has focused on both hands-on biomedical research and academic administration. A native of Los Angeles, he majored in biology at the University of California, Berkeley; earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan; and worked as a postdoc in Jared Diamond’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1998, he set up his own lab at City College of New York, and later moved to Weill Cornell Medicine, where he was appointed associate research professor and vice chair in the Department of Genetic Medicine.

In 2009, Dr. O’Connor moved to Yale University, where he served as associate provost for science and technology. There, he helped administer financial resources and scientific support services for researchers working in diverse areas, including biosciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, astronomy, and computer sciences, among others. He joined Rockefeller in the summer of 2013.

“Being part of this incredible institution is rewarding in so many ways,” Dr. O’Connor says. “Under Marc’s leadership, the university has continued to build momentum—our faculty has added 10 outstanding laboratory heads, we’ve begun work on the new river campus, and we’ve established important programs supporting both basic and translational research. I look forward to working with all members of our community to sustain this progress”