Doug O’Brien has been appointed as president and chief executive of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA).
The board of directors said he will start on 1 January, replacing Judy Ziewacz who will retire on 31 December.
“Doug’s strong track record in public policy, government program management, cooperative advocacy, public/private partnerships, and his vision for the future will serve NCBA CLUSA well,” said Andrew Jacob, chair of NCBA CLUSA.
“I’m humbled to be part of NCBA CLUSA at this critical time,’ said Mr O’Brien. “Families, small businesses, and farmers have looked to co-operatives for generations to improve their income and secure their future. Now more than ever, we need to show people how co-operatives can be a solution to today’s challenges.”
He joined NCBA CLUSA last November as executive vice president for programs, overseeing the domestic and international work of the association.
“Doug has the unique combination of skills and experience to lead NCBA CLUSA into its next 100 years,” said Ms Ziewacz. “He has an appreciation for the diversity and strong contributions made by co-operatives in the US and globally, and the power of the co-operative principles to build a better world.”
Prior to joining NCBA CLUSA, he served as senior advisor for rural affairs on the White House Domestic Policy Council, working with the secretary of agriculture and cabinet members across the federal government. He also served as acting under secretary of rural development at the United States Department of Agriculture where he led initiatives to create economic opportunities and improve the quality of life in rural communities.
Mr O’Brien has also served as senior advisor to governors, assistant director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, counsel on the US Senate Agricultural Committee and chair of the Rural Working Group of the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development, where he reinvigorated the rural mission of this international body through research, peer learning, and sharing of best practices.
He has also authored numerous articles for legal journals and was the lead co-author of a book on producer marketing associations. Raised on a diversified farm in Dubuque County, Iowa, Mr O’Brien brings a perspective on rural and international economic development at both the state and federal levels.