Sean, a life-long environmentalist, brings more than 20 years of expertise in local and international non-profit leadership to NatureServe. For the past 10 years, he has worked at James Madison’s Montpelier as the Executive Director of the Center for the Constitution, and, for the past seven years, as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. While there, O’Brien directed the organization’s operations with a focus on fundraising, budget management, and strategic planning, which resulted in better alignment between programming and the company’s vision.
"As we face the sixth extinction and consider the role of biodiversity in ecosystem and human health, the need for the work of NatureServe has never been greater," said Sean. He adds, "I look forward to working on these critical issues and supporting the expansion of NatureServe’s dynamic data, tools, and expertise as a powerful force for global conservation."
Sean graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, and holds a Ph.D. from the same institution in Environmental Sciences with a focus on tropical forest ecology. He was awarded a prestigious Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Princeton University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. He has over 13 publications and served on numerous boards including the Presidential Precinct and was appointed by three governors to the Virginia Civics Commission.