Departing UMass Memorial CEO joins Mosakowski Institute

Recognized Health Care Advocate for the Most Vulnerable of Populations Brings Expertise and Insight to Institute as Distinguished Professor

John G. O'Brien


-- The Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark University announces the appointment of John G. O’Brien, immediate past president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc. (UMMHC), as the Jane and William Mosakowski Distinguished Professor of Higher Education.

O’Brien joined UMass Memorial Health Care in 2002 and led a significant turnaround that established the UMass Memorial system among the leading academic health care systems in the Northeast. He will begin his tenure at the Mosakowski Institute in August 2013.

“I am delighted that John O’Brien will be joining our Mosakowski Institute,” said Clark University President David P. Angel. “John is nationally respected for the work he has done at UMass Memorial, and anyone who has dealt with him during his years in Worcester can see why.”

The mission of the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise is to improve the effectiveness of government and other institutions in addressing social concerns through mobilizing university research. In order to advance this mission, the Institute and the University seek to strengthen engagement with distinguished practitioners who bring vision, passion, and insight into difficult challenges facing society, including those of access, affordability, and the effectiveness of health care in America. As the new Mosakowski Professor, O’Brien will play a leadership role in helping to strengthen and catalyze the Institute’s work around issues of health and well-being for individuals and communities.

“John O’Brien is the model of a sophisticated leader of an important institution that uses knowledge to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives,” said Mosakowski Institute Director James R. Gomes. “We couldn’t be happier to have him joining us at Clark.”

“I could not be more excited as I look forward to working with President Angel, the faculty, the students and the entire Clark University community.  It is an incredible honor to accept the Jane and William Mosakowski Distinguished Professor of Higher Education.  It is truly the most perfect and fitting next step in my professional career,” O’Brien said.

Effective February 25, O’Brien will retire as president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc., the largest, not-for-profit health care system in Central New England, with over 1,700 physicians and 13,200 employees. UMass Memorial is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  O’Brien will remain with the health care system for several weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

O’Brien began his career at The Cambridge Hospital, one of three hospital campuses that are now part of Cambridge Health Alliance, in 1976 as a financial manager and worked his way through the ranks to become its Chief Executive Officer in 1986. He also served as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Cambridge from 1995 to 2002. During his tenure as CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance he led a team of people that transformed a once ailing small city hospital into a premier academic public health care system.

O’Brien is involved in a variety of health advocacy and civic activities on a local, regional and national level and is the recipient of numerous awards for his work. He is a past member of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and past chair of both the Board of the National Association of Public Hospitals and the Board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association.

O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard College where he majored in Economics. He received his MBA in health care administration from Boston University.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a small, liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clarkies emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to contemporary challenges in the areas of psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.


Jane Salerno  | Senior Associate Director, Media Relations

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