Ann O’Brien retires after 20 years of service to Feinstein International Center

Ann O’Brien has been an integral member of the Feinstein Center team since she started in 2001. After 20 years of work at Feinstein and more than 20 years in state government, Ann is retiring this week. Ann brought a tenacious commitment to managing Feinstein and ensuring that our faculty, researchers, staff, and students were able to carry out their work and projects with as few hitches as possible. As Senior Research Darlington Akabwai, noted “she worked miracles” around the world.

No matter where our staff was located, Ann was a helpful and committed colleague. Research Director Helen Young, who is based in Europe, appreciated Ann’s efforts: “For me, Ann has always been at the heart of our work as the Feinstein Center, the continuity and the link between Boston and the many far-flung places round the world. I want to thank Ann especially for supporting our colleagues in remote locations, helping them navigate the Tufts systems and enabling many to become Feinstein Visiting Fellows. Her willingness to go the that extra mile has meant a lot!”

Those who worked with Ann closely, knew that she was not shy! Feinstein’s newest Research Director, Erin Coughlan de Perez, Research Director remembered her early days at the Center: “Being new to Feinstein, I loved Ann’s frankness. She says it how it is! This had me in stitches a few times! She was a great help when I was learning the ropes.” Kinsey Spears, an affiliated student, similarly said “Ann was always willing to take on work just to help me navigate working at Tufts University as a student and a program manager. She was so funny and could always make me laugh through a frustrating situation.”

When she retires Ann will have much more time to spend with her family, who everyone at Feinstein knows are very important to her. Research Director Dan Maxwell recalled, “Little did I know how many grandchildren Ann has and how she and her husband never miss a hockey game, a basketball game, a soccer game, a baseball game, recital, class play, spelling bee or the myriad other things their grandchildren do. If Ann was busy at the office, she was even busier in her personal life—and we wish her many more busy years as a loving grandmother!”

All of us at Feinstein Center want to congratulate Ann for an incredible tenure at the Center and which her a busy, yet relaxing retirement.