John O'Brien will take over the reins of EDUCAUSE, a higher education technology association, when President and CEO Diana Oblinger steps down in May. Oblinger, who has led EDUCAUSE since 2008, announced her retirement in April.
John O'Brien will become the president and CEO of EDUCAUSE in June.
The organization’s board of directors selected O’Brien, who currently serves as senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the fifth-largest higher education system in the country. O’Brien also served as director of the Minnesota "Students First" initiative, which worked across 31 school systems to improve student e-services.
In a news release, O'Brien said he was honored to join EDUCAUSE as its new president and CEO. "Higher education is at a crucial inflection point, and technology will make a significant difference in the years ahead, " he said. "By convening and advancing the work of its members, the association is uniquely positioned to help the higher education community more fully realize the strategic importance of IT on campus and beyond."
The chairman of EDUCAUSE’s Board of Directors, Bruce Maas, said O’Brien possesses the right mix of experience, vision and leadership to take the organization forward after Oblinger’s accomplished tenure.
O'Brien will have some big shoes to fill. Under her leadership at EDUCAUSE, Oblinger oversaw extensive growth in membership, influence and international participation. She also created the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, which supports innovation in teaching and learning with technology, and the Next Generation Learning Challenges, which provide grants for transformational technology-mediated programs in postsecondary and secondary institutions.
"My time at EDUCAUSE has been an exciting and deeply rewarding experience. Every day our members use technology to make the world better in ways we could only dream about," Oblinger said in the release. "We look forward to John moving the association and our community forward."
O'Brien will take over his new role at EDUCAUSE starting June 1.
In addition to services supporting higher education technology, EDUCAUSE hosts an annual conference that is a source of news, research and best practices for educators and IT professionals. This year's event runs from Oct. 27-30 in Indianapolis, Ind.