Senior Associate Athletic Director / Development
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Steve O'Brien is in his fourth year at Navy, where he serves as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development. In that capacity, O'Brien works closely with the Naval Academy Foundation and their Athletic & Scholarship Programs Division, leading a multi-faceted athletic development program. During his tenure, O'Brien has been credited with successfully developing and implementing a new hybrid athletics annual fund/major gifts program, The Fund for Athletic Excellence, creating a quasi-endowment that provides long-term unrestricted support for Navy Athletics, and establishing a strong foundation for the athletics portion of a comprehensive $400M+ institution-wide campaign. The well-coordinated efforts have yielded a dramatic increase in major gift support (both sport-specific and unrestricted), nearly $5M in commitments for the Athletic Excellence Sustainment Fund and over $27M in capital commitments, including the two largest gifts in Naval Academy history.
O'Brien also serves as the Sport Administrator for the women's soccer program.
Prior to Navy, O'Brien spent nearly three years at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). As the Associate Athletic Director of Development, he was instrumental in the creation of their athletic department's first annual giving program, The Gaucho Fund, their major gifts initiative, the Living Scholar program and a multimillion dollar capital campaign, The Walk of Champions.
His work has been featured in multiple industry publications and its success has led schools such as Northeastern, the University of Portland, UNC Asheville and Oral Roberts University to explore similar major gift initiatives.
Prior to his time at UCSB, O'Brien spent three years leading the development efforts of the Bronco Bench Foundation for his alma mater, Santa Clara University, where he initially served as the department's Academic Support Manager. During his tenure, the department experienced a significant increase in student-athlete GPAs and contributions in support of student-athlete scholarships.
O'Brien began his professional career as a transactional finance and real estate attorney, working for the law firms of Latham & Watkins LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP. He has maintained his license to practice law in the state of California where his service as a director on the boards of non-profit organizations and a privately held corporation have furthered his understanding of corporate governance and organizational leadership.
O'Brien earned his juris doctorate from the University of Southern California in 2001 and his bachelor's degree in History and Economics from Santa Clara University in 1998.
O'Brien currently lives in Annapolis with his wife, Julianne.