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Brian O'Connell

Senior Director, Clark Hill Public Strategies

For more than 16 years, Brian O’Connell has worked at the highest levels of corporate and government structures representing Fortune 125 companies to achieve impressive results. Whether it’s obtaining billions of dollars in economic development incentives or passing transformative legislation and public policy, Brian has dedicated his career to assisting clients in navigating state and federal governments and regulations. He possesses extensive experience managing corporate government affairs strategies across multiple states including direct engagement with Governors, state legislative leaders, state departments, and regulatory bodies.

Brian is widely recognized as one of the foremost government affairs professionals in Michigan having been voted by legislators and legislative staff as “Most Effective Corporate Lobbyist” several years running as well as being included on the Crain’s Detroit Business “50 Names to Know in Lobbying”.

Prior to joining Clark Hill, Brian served for 13 years as the Executive Regional Director of State and Local Public Policy at General Motors coordinating a strategically effective legislative, regulatory, political, and media results-driven strategy closely coordinated with corporate leadership. This strategy was particularly focused on economic development, manufacturing, taxation, real estate, energy, appropriations, healthcare, sustainability, and environmental issues—delivering and achieving impressive results for GM during his tenure.

Brian also served as the Director of State Government Affairs for Wyeth Pharmaceutical with responsibility for strategy implementation in Michigan and Ohio. During this time, Brian served as the Michigan PhRMA Task Force Chairman requiring the coordination of multiple Fortune 500 companies and professionals on legislative and political affairs.

Brian began his political career serving as Chief of Staff to multiple Michigan legislators including the former Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee where he learned to become an adept negotiator, manager, and political strategist.

Brian lives with his wife Becky and 3 daughters in the Lansing area where they enjoy golf, travel, and their family cottage.


B.A., University of Maryland, Political Science


MIRS/EPIC “Most Effective Corporate Lobbyist” in Michigan in 2019, 2021 and 2023

Crain’s Detroit Business 50 Names to know in Lobbying in 2020 and 2022

Michigan PhRMA Task Force Chair from 2008-2009

Michigan PhRMA Task Force Vice-Chair 2006-2008

Awarded Wyeth President’s Golden Circle Award in 2008