Kelly O’Connor

Kelly O’Connor is the Chief Growth Officer & Senior Advisor to the CEO of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). 

Ms. O’Connor has extensive experience in growing and scaling businesses and brands – primarily in the financial and entrepreneurial ecosystem. A globally recognized growth strategist, executive producer and editorial director, she has operated and led the overall strategy, management and execution of high-profile projects, initiatives and conferences throughout the world – working with some of the world’s most influential thought leaders, entrepreneurs and investors. In addition, she has developed, ghostwritten, edited and packaged hundreds of non-fiction books and publications, including 12 bestsellers – 3 of which were listed in The New York Times.

Prior to joining the DFC, Ms. O’Connor was the Co-Founder and President of StageLight Group, which invests in companies that promote the democratization of access, ideas and opportunity. In addition, she was the CEO of Lumiere Partners where she worked with corporations, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help them grow their business, forge strategic partnerships and amplify their brand.

Previously, Ms. O’Connor was a Partner & Executive Director of Business Development and Strategy at SkyBridge Capital where she was instrumental in growing the firm’s assets to $14B and co-led teams engaged in growth and strategy; communications and public relations; marketing and events; and strategic partnerships and external affairs. A senior member of the Founders’ leadership team, she executed special projects and initiatives as well as co-managed their brand, public profile and engagement in the media, politics and at major conferences. A driving force behind building and evolving SkyBridge’s flagship conference – SALT – Ms. O’Connor helped grow it into one of the world’s most prestigious finance conferences and also oversaw the international expansion of their strategic initiatives. Prior to joining SkyBridge, she was an Editor at John Wiley & Sons. She began her career at Columbia University working for the Dean of the College providing academic advising and directing special projects and strategic communications.  
Ms. O’Connor received a Master’s degree in Organization & Leadership from Columbia University where she focused on institutional operations & effectiveness; learning & development; and professional curricula. She also earned a B.A. in English Literature from Wagner College and graduated top of her class summa cum laude. 
A native New Yorker, Ms. O’Connor’s global experience spans more than 15 years in various locations including the U.S., London, Switzerland, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.