Tom is the founder and chief executive officer of O’Neill and Associates, New England’s leading public relations and government affairs consulting firm. O’Neill and Associates integrates federal, state and local government relations with strategic communications, media relations and marketing to provide custom public affairs campaigns to clients in a diverse range of industries. Tom is also the Founding Partner of Seven Letter, a full-service integrated agency consistently recognized by PR Week as a “Best Place to Work” and by PR News as one of the “Agency Elite Top 100.”
A former state legislator and Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Tom work has long focused on the intersection of government, business and nonprofit causes. His expertise spans the public and private sector in areas that include transportation, healthcare, higher education, financial services and nonprofit development.
From offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., Tom oversees all aspects of both O’Neill and Associates and Seven Letter, including strategic planning, marketing, long-term growth and client servicing. From 1975 to 1983, Tom served as Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his term in office, Tom created and administered the Commonwealth’s Office of Federal-State Relations in Boston and Washington, D.C. His work focused largely on securing federal transportation infrastructure funding for the state by coordinating the efforts of New England governors with the Northeast and Midwest congressional delegations. During his term of office, he also served on the U.S. State Department Ambassadorial Screening Committee. From 1973 to 1974, Tom represented the City of Cambridge and the Town of Belmont in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Tom has nearly five decades of leadership in many aspects of U.S.-Ireland relations, including U.S. Relations with the Republic of Ireland, the peace process in Northern Ireland, support for Irish American causes, American Catholic institutions, and in American civic and political life, including:
- U.S.-Republic of Ireland Relations: Tom is a dedicated member of the Irish diaspora in Cork and Donegal, supporting efforts to encourage transatlantic business and economic development, as well as the promotion of cultural opportunities in education and the arts. As the former Abbey Theatre Ireland Massachusetts President, Tom created partnerships between the Abbey Theatre and Massachusetts thought leaders, philanthropists, and area colleges to promote Irish arts and culture. Tom is a longtime supporter and Board of Trustee Member of the American Ireland Fund, raising more than $5 million to support charities in the Republic of Ireland.
- U.S. Support for peace in Northern Ireland: Tom’s experience with the Northern Ireland peace process began in 1970s, while serving as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and included initiatives such as the hosting of all-party talks in Boston between leaders of Nationalist and Loyalist Irish factions to bolster peace negotiations. Tom expanded funding for the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Chair of Peace Studies at Magee College, the University of Ulster in Derry, an effort that aims to help deepen and expand support for peace in the region.
- Support for Irish America and American Catholic Institutions: Tom served for 20 years on the Boston College Board of Trustees, his alma mater, establishing a fully endowed named annual scholarship for at-risk Boston College students, and a fund to support Boston College students applying for Fulbright Scholarships. Tom is a Founding Member of the Catholic Democrats of America and Advisor to the President of Catholic Democrats, representing a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party and a voice for the Democratic Party in the Catholic Church. He is Board Chair and a Trustee of Cristo Rey Boston, a Catholic college preparatory institute for at-risk youth in American cities.
A longtime leader in Greater Boston’s health care sector, Tom has served in prominent roles on several health care governing boards including Tufts Health Plan, Mount Auburn Hospital and Caregroup.
The oldest son of the late U.S. Speaker Tip O’Neill, Tom began in politics by running his father’s campaigns and later his own. Tom earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a master’s degree in public administration at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government. Tom resides in Boston, MA with his wife, Shelly.