Conor has been actively involved in supporting business transformation and economic regeneration in the East Transfrontier Region in Ireland since the mid-1990s. During that time Conor has developed and managed five business parks and incubation centres which now house hundreds of businesses, some of which trade globally.
Conor was for 10 years the joint co-ordinator of a Local Strategy Partnership in the East Transfrontier Region in Ireland which oversaw the investment of €13m of EU funds. He also managed an urban regeneration programme in the region as a result of which €24m was invested by the public and private sectors in transforming a previously run-down city district one outcome of which was the location in that area of a global financial technology company which now employs thousands. He has conceived and implemented several innovative neighbourhood renewal initiatives which have transformed places and people challenged by adversity. At international level Conor has been involved in the development of enterprise initiatives in Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Kosovo, Norway and Egypt. He has co-ordinated several trade missions to the USA (Chicago, Pittsburgh, New Hampshire, New York, Maine) and Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Sault Sainte Marie and Niagara). He has spoken on innovation in business at a number of international conferences notably in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Llieda. In the economic policy sphere Conor has also given evidence on how to improve inter-regional and international economic co-operation to a Joint Committee of the two houses of the Irish Parliament (Oireachtas), to a committee of the French National Assembly in the UK Parliament and in the European Parliament.
In his earlier career Conor managed a pioneering ‘Area Based Strategy’ in a rural area recovering from conflict, managed a European Policy, Programmes and Trade Unit in Scotland for several years and lectured on economic development and strategic planning at Coventry University in England where he published a comprehensive practitioner’s manual on “Inward Investment” for the Royal Town Planning Institute. Conor has a Doctorate in Business & Economics from Kingston University in London. His Doctoral Thesis was awarded a prize in recognition of its international significance by the EU Committee of the Regions at a ceremony in the European Parliament. He is an MSc Economics graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and a Chartered Urban and Regional Planner. Conor is an accredited conflict resolution mediator.