Marie O’Connor has received the 2016 Ireland-U.S. Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Jun 27, 2016

Marie O'Connor received Lifetime Achievement Award from Ireland-US Council.

Pictured are Dr. Michael Somers (President, Ireland Chapter of the Ireland-US Council), and Marie O'Connor (Partner, PwC Ireland).

The Ireland-U.S. Council has presented its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Marie O’Connor, Partner, PwC Ireland. The Award marks Marie's notable and important achievements in building the business bonds between America and Ireland and was the centerpiece of the Council’s 2016 MidSummer Gala Dinner held last Friday, 24 June at Dublin Castle.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Michael Somers, Chairman, Ireland-U.S. Council, said: “We are delighted this year to present the Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Marie O’Connor. The members and directors of the Council are delighted to honour such an outstanding and worthy recipient with an award that is so richly-deserved. The Council is pleased to mark the unique and positive contributions which Marie has made in forging important business connections between the United States and Ireland throughout her successful business career. She has displayed unparalleled skills and has brought people together to further the interests of the investment funds industry in Ireland. Not only is she widely known and admired, but Marie, in my view, is one of the most popular business people in Ireland today."

Addressing the audience, Marie O'Connor said: "I am honoured and privileged to receive this award and would like to thank the Ireland-U.S.Council and everybody who has supported me over the years.

"Ireland has been very successful in attracting inward investment from the US and Irish firms have been equally successful in doing business in the US. This investment by the US in Ireland is critical to our economy, jobs and future growth prosperity. And it is great to see that, according to PwC's 2016 CEO Pulse survey, that 95% of Irish MNCs said that their investment in Ireland is a success. Access to highly skilled people was one of the top factors critical to increasing and maintaining this FDI investment in Ireland, according to the MNC CEOs surveyed. It is important that we continue to have a first class and competitive environment in Ireland, including regulatory, tax, infrastructure and, most importantly, that we have talented people. Over the last few years we have under invested in some crucial areas – given our improving economy.  One of the most important areas in a technological and digital driven economy, is that we invest immediately in educating for the needs of the future and also in world class research. We need to continue to build on our innovative capabilities where collaboration on education at its widest level between companies, government, industry bodies and academia takes place."

Marie O'Connor was the first woman to be admitted as a partner in Craig Gardner 30 years ago. She has specialised in audit and business advisory services to the financial services industry. She has displayed paralleled skills in bringing people together to further the interests of foreign direct investment from the USA to Ireland. Marie led PwC’s Irish Funds and Asset Management practice for 12 years and was also a member of the PwC’s Global Asset Management leadership team. She has advised some of Dublin's most successful investment fund structures and many leading U.S. asset management groups on establishing operations in Ireland.

Marie O’Connor has been appointed to the boards of several high-profile State organisations by the Irish Government. These have included directorships at Dublin Airport Authority and IDA Ireland and membership of the Top Level Appointment Committee, among others. She has been a board member of the Ireland-U.S. Council for many years, serves on the Funds Raising Advisory Committee for the Irish Cancer Society and the President’s Advisory Board at UCD. Marie leads the 30% Club in Ireland – which is a group of Chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organisations through voluntary actions. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, and is also qualified as a Barrister.


Notes to editors:

The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded by business leaders in the United States and in Ireland. It is the premier transatlantic business organisation that encourages and promotes business between Ireland and the United States and was established in the Fall of 1962. Its founding was in preparation for the visit of President John F. Kennedy to Ireland in the Spring of 1963, as a measure to build institutional form around a structure to improve business, economic and commercial relations between the two countries.

The Council operates a variety of scholarship and internship programs, stages seminars and hosts frequent events in Ireland and in America aimed at developing communications and dialogue between business and political leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Ireland-U.S. Council is a non-profit organisation and has no partisan, political aims or affiliations. The Council's membership ranks are comprised predominantly of senior executives in business and financial corporations in America and in Ireland. As part of its platform, the Council also supports and sponsors many initiatives in the arts. The Council is headquartered in New York City and has an office in Dublin.


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