Mr. O’Brien directs the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and supports a talented team of professionals to assist states and local communities to respond to Department of Defense activity and support its missions.
He is responsible for the creation and performance of many programs enabling states and communities to partner with the Department and its installation and industrial bases, including: $1.9 billion program to improve condition and capacity problems at public schools on military installations; nearly $200 million in investments in support of the Department’s Pacific Defense Initiative on the Territory of Guam; $80 million Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program to deliver innovativeness and modernization for the defense industrial base at the speed of relevancy; $200 million Defense Community Infrastructure Program to support state and local enhancements to improve local military value, installation resiliency, and military family quality of life; and $75 million community noise mitigation program. His team presently manages a portfolio of over 200 projects accounting for close to $2 billion in obligations.
Prior to joining Department of Defense, Mr. O’Brien was a Presidential Management Intern with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where he spent time on Capitol Hill, working on community and economic development-related issues. Before his Federal service, he was an Assistant Business Developer for the City of Duluth, MN, where he assisted with the reuse of a closed air base, supported the conversion of a former steel plant, and co-drafted the State's first enterprise zone bill. He also served as a citizen representative to the Duluth Joint Airport Zoning Board.
He has Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Affairs and Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he graduated "cum laude" and as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. He received a Masters of Science degree in Public Management and Policy Analysis from the School of Urban and Public Affairs at Carnegie-Mellon University, where he graduated "with distinction," student-taught organizational management, and was elected to Pi Alpha Alpha. Mr. O'Brien is certified as an "Economic Development Finance Professional" by the National Development Council and graduated from the Federal Executive Institute’s “Leadership for a Democratic Society” as well as Harvard Law School’s “Program on Negotiation.”
He is the recipient of the following honors and recognitions: 2017 “Federal Leadership in Economic Development Programs” award from the International Economic Development Council; Ancient Order of Chamorri from the Governor of Guam; and Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service.More Biographies