Sally O’Brien leads Pew’s development efforts with donors and partner organizations.
O’Brien joined Pew in 2010 after 18 years at The Johns Hopkins University, most recently as associate dean for development and external affairs at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Before that, she was director of development at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she played a pivotal role in the successful conclusion of the school’s $500 million capital campaign. She planned the school’s 75th anniversary celebrations and was instrumental in the growth of the school’s endowment from less than $40 million in 1990 to $218 million by 2007. Her leadership resulted in the establishment of a number of innovative donor relationships that included the funding of the Procter & Gamble Fellows Program, the DeBeers Scholars program and the establishment of the Sommer Scholars to develop the next generation of public health leaders.
Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, O’Brien was a member of the British Diplomatic Service and served in London, Brussels and Washington. She advised on government policy and coordinated regular meetings of European Community foreign ministers and ambassadors. During her tenure in the Washington embassy, she was appointed a member of the Royal Victorian Order by HM The Queen for services to the Royal Family.
O’Brien grew up in England and first came to the United States as a Robert T. Jones Scholar at Emory University before moving permanently to the United States in 1987. She earned her combined undergraduate/graduate degree in art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
She serves on the boards of Global Viral, a health organization, and Friends of Christ’s Hospital. She is a former board member of Advocates for Children and Youth and the Maryland Film Festival.