John M. O'Brien, PharmD, MPH

President and Chief Executive Officer

John M. O'Brien

John M. O'Brien, PharmD, MPH, is the president and chief executive officer of the National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC), which sponsors and participates in research on the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals and the clinical and economic value of pharmaceutical innovation. NPC’s research contributes to the scientific foundation for informed discussions about health care access, coverage, appropriate use and value. As president and chief executive officer, Dr. O'Brien is responsible for overseeing NPC’s policy research and communications capacity, partnerships with other health care organizations, and strategic vision.

O’Brien’s broad experience spans the private sector, academia and government. Prior to joining NPC, O’Brien was senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and deputy assistant secretary of planning and evaluation (health policy). He has also held senior policy positions in the life sciences and managed care industries, including at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, was a career official at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) during the Obama administration, and served as a health policy fellow in the U.S. Senate. 

O’Brien earned his doctorate in pharmacy at Nova Southeastern University, his master’s degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and studied pharmacy and public policy at the University of Florida. His post-graduate experience includes the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Executive Fellowship in Association Management and Leadership and the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Certified Health Insurance Executive Fellowship.

He has held a number of academic appointments, including senior fellow at the USC-Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, clinical assistant professor at the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship program, and assistant professor of clinical and administrative sciences at the Notre Dame of Maryland University College of Pharmacy, the first program of its kind created by a U.S. women’s college.

O’Brien has served on the boards of Pharmacy Quality Solutions, Kennedy Center Circles and the Congressional Chorus.