Born in Japan and raised in New Jersey, John Connor attended Pomona College in Claremont, California and Doshisha Univerity in Kyoto and graduated with a major in International Relations in 1987. After returning to Japan to continue language studies, Connor began a twelve-year career as a banker, starting with The Bank of Tokyo, New York, in the Japanese Corporate and later the Emerging Markets Department.
In 1994 he switched gears and took a position in the Trade and Export Finance Division of Generale de Banque that concentrated on developing business in Latin America. After the GB merger with Fortis bank, Connor headed the Global Export and Project Finance Group at the New York Branch, again focusing on industrial and infrastructure financing, primarily in Latin America.
In 2001, another turn of events took Connor to Sag Harbor, New York, and he renovated and sold a number of early 19th century whaling captain’s homes in this Long Island resort. During the past many years, Connor acted as business manager at his partner's architectural and design business and helped build it into a nearly $20M-a-year enterprise. In 2008 he joined the Obama campaign and helped run the Latino and LGBT Vote Desk at the Pennsylvania Political Headquarters and later worked on the Presidential Transition Team in Washington, D.C. Presently, Connor is the Director of the Office of White House Liaison at the United States Department of Commerce.