As director of the Office of Economic Adjustment, Mr. Patrick J. O’Brien leads a talented team of project managers and support staff in assisting local economic adjustment efforts. While working for the Secretary of Defense, Mr. O’Brien also manages the Defense Economic Adjustment Program and is the executive director of the President’s Economic Adjustment Committee, as it was recently updated by Executive Order to assist communities to respond to Defense base closures or realignments, contractor reductions, and base expansions.
Mr. O’Brien served as an OEA project manager for several local adjustment efforts from the previous ‘88, ‘91, ‘93, and ‘95 BRAC rounds, assisting various local efforts, including those at Fort Ord, Loring AFB, Wurtsmith AFB, NTC San Diego, and Cameron Station. Additionally, he authored the OEA Community Guide to Base Reuse and several other technical resources for communities, and led different BRAC implementation policy reviews. He has demonstrated experience with all aspects of the BRAC process and has worked a range of issues, including public-private initiatives; Federal real property disposal; local organization and business plan development; redevelopment planning; and economic cost-benefit analysis.
Prior to joining OEA, he negotiated development packages of various sizes, reviewed labor policies, sized federal loan participations, assisted distressed communities in evaluating proposed housing and economic projects, and crafted Executive legislative initiatives for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he started his federal career as a presidential management intern. Preceding his tenure with the federal government, Mr. O’Brien was an assistant business developer for the City of Duluth, Minnesota, where he assisted with the re-use of a closed air base; prepared marketing, finance, and business survey packages to assist local development efforts; and co-drafted the state's first enterprise zone bill. He also served as a citizen representative to the Duluth Joint Airport Zoning Board.
Mr. O'Brien received bachelor of arts degrees in urban affairs and political science from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he graduated “cum laude” and was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. He also received a master 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.”