Kelley O'Brien has over 15 years of experience as a communicator, grant writer, project manager, and administrator in higher education and nonprofits. As a grant writing consultant, she has secured more than $6 million in public and private grants. As an administrator, she has served on the management team of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Government and led a statewide K-12 education program. And, as a project manager and facilitator, she has led strategic planning efforts and a variety of initiatives that required broad-based buy-in and support. 

Kelley has taught extensively on grant writing and communications, designing and instructing courses for graduate students and professionals on these topics. She is adjunct faculty at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she currently teaches graduate-level courses in communications and grant writing. In addition to her work in the areas of grant writing and communications, Kelley is a Strategic Search Parter for Elinvar, an executive search and leadership development firm. 

She has a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, Urban Studies from the University of Georgia. More recently, she has completed the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive Program in Innovation and Harvard Division of Continuing Education's Design Thinking Program.  

Read more about Kelley's experience here. 


Kelley O'Brien: fundraiser, strategic thinker, and grammar nerd

Kelley O'Brien: fundraiser, strategic thinker, and grammar nerd

Kelley is student-focused and brings high expectations to her work and her classroom. Her vision and drive help her make intriguing concepts into tangible work plans.
— Amy Strecker, Adjunct Instructor, UNC-Chapel Hill