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Kelley O’Brien

Clinical Assistant Professor of Management and Corporate Communication


McColl 4709, CB 3490 Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Kelley O’Brien teaches business communication courses at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

She has been teaching communication courses at UNC-Chapel Hill since 2011. In addition to teaching at UNC Kenan-Flagler, she has taught residential and online courses the UNC School of Government and the Graduate School.

Professor O’Brien has more than 20 years of experience as a communicator, grant writer, project manager and administrator in higher education and nonprofits. She worked at the UNC School of Government for 14 years, first leading a statewide K-12 education program and then as director of strategy and innovation.

She is senior partner at Elinvar, an executive search firm specializing in mission-driven placements and organizations, and owner of KTO Strategy & Communications, a consulting firm that provides strategy, fundraising and communication support to public service organizations.

She serves on the board of directors for Frank Adoption Center and CommunityWorx.

She completed the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Executive Program in Innovation and Harvard Division of Continuing Education’s Design Thinking Program.

She received her MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill and her BA in honors interdisciplinary studies, urban studies from the University of Georgia.



Areas of Expertise

Communication (business)