Eileen O’Connor, B.S., J.D.
Eileen O’Connor is the Vice President for Communications at Yale University. She joined Yale in January 2016.
Ms. O’Connor has a long and distinguished career in public affairs, law, and journalism. She most recently served as deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia and senior adviser to the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ms. O’Connor lived and worked in Afghanistan, advising Ambassador Ryan Crocker and overseeing communications and public diplomacy strategy throughout the region. She received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School and helped lead the legal crisis management practices for several law firms in Washington, D.C., prior to being recruited to the State Department. Her practice defended multinational corporations and individuals in litigation, Congressional investigations, regulatory and security matters, mergers, and mass tort. Ms. O’Connor has also done extensive pro-bono work, representing individuals in asylum cases, criminal appeals, and human rights litigation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, also from Georgetown, and a postgraduate diploma in world politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Earlier in her career, Ms. O’Connor was a producer and correspondent at ABC News and at CNN, where she served as a national and White House correspondent and Moscow bureau chief, and reported from London and Tokyo. Her news reporting and investigative work covering conflicts in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and Chechnya, as well as politics, economics, the fall of communism, the Clinton impeachment, and Al Qaeda’s role in 9/11, was recognized with the highest awards in journalism including two DuPont Awards, a Peabody, Overseas Press Club Awards, National Headliner Awards, two Cable Aces, and an Emmy. She is past president of the International Center for Journalists, educating members of the press and media in emerging democracies, and was chair of the Center for Justice and Accountability, suing human rights abusers in U.S. courts, including overseeing the litigation in the Supreme Court case Yousuf v. Samantar. She speaks frequently on journalistic ethics, Russian politics, violent extremism, and crisis management.