Today, Robert C. O’Brien, a former US ambassador and distinguished senior fellow, announced that he will be joining the 27th National Security Agency (NSA) as a part of its Public Policy School (SPP) at Pepperdine University.
As a senior fellow at the School of Public Policy, I am honored to join and work with the students, faculty, and supporters. Dean Pete Peterson has assembled a fantastic team at this institution. I have a close family connection to Pepperdine, as both my brother and daughter attended Pepperdine Law School. “Los Angeles is a treasure,” said O’Brien, “and Pepperdine is one of the great universities in America.”
O’Brien is recognized as one of America’s leading national security experts and diplomats, acting as a prominent mediator and negotiator in some of the world’s most contentious places. He served as a special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, bringing home more than 25 wrongfully detained Americans and hostages. He played a critical role in building relationships with America’s allies in the Indo-Pacific region and the Middle East, particularly through his involvement in the signing of the Abraham Accords.
“Peterson, our distinguished senior fellow, exemplifies the importance of students beginning their careers in foreign intelligence and affairs. He is committed to strengthening America’s unique role as a preeminent peacemaker in the world. We are honored to have Ambassador O’Brien join us as well. I look forward to both Ambassador O’Brien and us continuing to grow our academic programs in international relations and national security, both in Washington, DC and Malibu.”
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In 2016, he helped establish Larson LLP, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in litigation, and now holds the position of partner emeritus. Additionally, he serves as the chairman of American Global Strategies LLC, a strategic advisory firm located in Washington, DC. Robert C. O’Brien, a former US ambassador and national security advisor, is his professional background.
O’Brien was a senior legal officer in the JAG Corps Reserve Army of the United States and a major in Switzerland. Earlier in his career, he served as a senior legal officer at the United Nations Security Council in Geneva. He also served as a founding co-chairman of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan under secretaries Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice at the State Department. Additionally, O’Brien was a member of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee and an alternate representative to the United Nations General Assembly for the United States.
The Los Angeles Business Journal has named O’Brien as one of the most influential 500 people in Los Angeles. O’Brien was presented with the Stefan A. Riesenfeld Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to the field of international law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. In 2019, O’Brien also received the Adelson Sheldon and Miriam Dr. Defense of Israel and America Award. Following the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, a tree was planted in O’Brien’s honor at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Forest in the hills of Jerusalem. O’Brien has been named the recipient of the 2021 Freedom Seas Award at the National Surface Navy Museum. Additionally, O’Brien has received the Presidential Medal of Merits for Kosovo, the Legion of Honor (chevalier), the National Defense Service Medal, the Distinguished Public Service Medal for the Department of Defense, the Distinguished Public Service Medal for the National Intelligence Service, and the National Security Medal.