Mike O’Brien is the CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. O’Brien brings more than 20 years of experience in education and non-profit leadership to the role. He has devoted his career to bolstering youth leadership, empowering schools and communities, and working collaboratively to improve outcomes for young people.
Prior to joining America’s Promise, O’Brien spent 17 years at iMentor, a national college success organization, including serving 13 years as iMentor’s CEO. O’Brien joined iMentor when it was a small startup in New York City and led its progression to a national non-profit organization generating field-leading outcomes for young people. This progression included expanding iMentor to 22 communities across the country, creating 36,000 mentoring relationships, and increasing annual enrollment from 400 to 10,000 mentor-mentee relationships. In addition to scaling the organization nationally, O’Brien led an evolution of iMentor’s mentoring model to focus on postsecondary success, utilize long-term mentoring relationships, match every student in its partner schools with a mentor, bridge both high school and college, and prioritize equity education for all mentors. These efforts allowed iMentor to leverage the community to reimagine a more personalized and proactive counseling function in schools, significantly increasing college enrollment, persistence, and completion rates for first-generation college students.
O’Brien began his career as a high school teacher and basketball coach in East New York, Brooklyn. He is a graduate of Bucknell University. He is a Board Member of Blue Engine, a Board Member Emeritus of BUILD, an Ashoka fellow, a Council Member at NationSwell, and a Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 recipient.