John O'Brien


John O’Brien serves as the president and CEO of EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through technology innovation. EDUCAUSE serves over 2,000 member colleges, universities, and organizations from 41 countries who themselves collectively serve over 14 million students. He speaks and writes on a variety of topics related to higher education, technology, and the crucial intersection where the two meet. Throughout his career in higher education, John has served as an academic, technology, and institutional leader. He was a faculty leader in instructional technology, a statewide IT project leader, and associate vice chancellor/deputy CIO at the system level. He has been a college provost and president in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, the fourth largest higher education system in the United States with over 375,000 students. Prior to his appointment at EDUCAUSE, he served as the system’s senior vice chancellor of academic and student affairs. John holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Augustana University, a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin, and a doctorate in English from the University of Minnesota. 

EDUCAUSE Publications

  • The EDUCAUSE Strategic Plan: What Isn't Said
    • Multimedia
    • Author

    In this conversation, EDUCAUSE President and CEO John O'Brien and EDUCAUSE Board Chair Helen Norris discuss a few things EDUCAUSE members should know about the new EDUCAUSE strategic plan.

  • Young Professionals’ Influence on Strategic Planning
    • Multimedia
    • Author

    In this episode, we talk about strategic planning and the skills needed to traverse such a complex undertaking. Our guests include John O'Brien, EDUCAUSE President and CEO, and Chris Bradney, Director of Strategic Technology Initiatives at California State University-San Bernardino.

  • Introducing the New EDUCAUSE Strategic Plan
    • Article
    • Author

    In 2023, the 25th anniversary of EDUCAUSE, the association has updated its vision, mission, strategic priorities, and values. This article summarizes the important changes that will guide EDUCAUSE in the years ahead.

EDUCAUSE Presentations