EVP, Government Relations, 4A's
Dick O’Brien, based in Washington, D.C., is the 4A’s principal representative to the White House, Congress and regulatory agencies.
Currently O’Brien is at the helm of the 4A’s efforts against the abusive practices of patent trolls and helped form the Stop Patent Abuse Now (SPAN) coalition in 2013, the first such group of advertising, marketing and commerce trades.
He has worked to prevent unwarranted government regulation of online behavioral advertising and organized grassroots efforts to preserve the tax treatment of advertising as a fully deductible expense.
O’Brien has held several advertising management roles, first at Grey Advertising and later at Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. During his tenure at Saatchi, he was named vice chairman, director of Worldwide Client Services, worldwide account director for Procter & Gamble and director of global business development, in addition to sitting on their Board of Directors.
On a volunteer basis, O’Brien has served for more than 10 years as the secretary/treasurer of PRO-AD PAC, the extended advertising community’s political action committee. He also sits on the Boards of the Alliance for American Advertising and the Digital Advertising Alliance.
An ardent supporter of Special Olympics, he was on its Board from its inception through its first 15 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of William James College.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College, an MA from Indiana University and an MBA from Columbia University.