John O'Brien


John O’Brien serves as the president and CEO of EDUCAUSE,  a nonprofit organization seeking to inspire the transformation of higher education in service to a greater good.  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. Immediately prior to his appointment at EDUCAUSE, he served as the system’s senior vice chancellor of academic and student affairs.

John is the former president of North Hennepin Community College, a minority serving institution (MSI) in his home state of Minnesota, and he serves as vice chair of the board of regents of Augsburg University, a four-year university MSI in Minneapolis.  He was recently appointed to the board of the American Council on Education (ACE) and the board of Achieving the Dream, an organization committed to “social and equitable mobility and equitable, antiracist communities.”

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

EDUCAUSE Presentations