July 26, 2022

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) today announced that Robert C. O’Brien, former US ambassador and the 27th national security advisor (NSA), will join its program as a distinguished senior fellow.

“Pepperdine is one of the great universities in America and a treasure for Los Angeles,” said O’Brien “My daughter and brother both attended the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, so I have a close family connection to the institution. Dean Pete Peterson has assembled a terrific team at the School of Public Policy, and I am honored to join him and look forward to working with the students, faculty, and supporters of the SPP as a distinguished senior fellow.”

As a former US ambassador and national security advisor, O’Brien is recognized as one of America’s leading diplomats and national security experts. He played a critical role in the signing of the Abraham Accords in the Middle East and led important efforts to build relationships with America’s allies in the Indo-Pacific region. Before assuming the role as NSA, O’Brien was the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs and brought more than 25 hostages and wrongfully detained Americans home. O’Brien is acknowledged as a preeminent negotiator and mediator in some of the world’s most contentious places.

“As we continue to grow our academic programs in national security and international relations both here in Malibu and in Washington, DC, we’re honored to have Ambassador O’Brien join us as a distinguished senior fellow, and I look forward to working with him,” noted Peterson. “As a preeminent peacemaker who is committed to strengthening America’s unique role in the world, he sets an important example for our graduate students as they begin their careers in the foreign affairs and intelligence arenas.”

In this role, O’Brien will consult with SPP as it builds its coursework and co-curricular programs in international relations both in the Los Angeles area and at the Pepperdine campus in Washington, DC. He will also offer regular lectures and roundtables on national security topics with students, faculty, and friends of the school. O’Brien joins the list of esteemed leaders and scholars who have also taken on the position of senior fellow to focus on preparing the policymakers and political leaders of tomorrow with a grounding in founding principles, free markets, and an understanding of America’s crucial and exceptional role in world affairs.