You are here: American University Profiles Staff Profile Page

Back to top

No Profile Picture

Cynthia O'Brien Executive Director of Career, Alumni, & Industry Engagement KSB | Other Operations and Administration

Cynthia O'Brien
KSB | Other Operations and Administration
Main Campus
Additional Positions at AU
Sr. Assistant Dean and Executive Director - Career, Alumni & Corporate Engagement
MS in Human Resources Management
BS in Business Administration/Human Resources Management 


Cynthia assumed the role of Senior Assistant Dean of Career, Alumni, and Corporate Engagement at Kogod College in January 2024, joining the institution's esteemed Leadership Team. In this capacity, Cynthia is entrusted with leading pivotal initiatives vital to Kogod's faculty, staff, and student community. Her principal objective is to craft and execute a robust corporate engagement strategy that fosters unity within the Kogod community while optimizing the impact of each employer relationship. Leveraging the collective dedication of faculty, staff, alumni, and board members, Cynthia is committed to establishing avenues for student professional development, encompassing internships, research opportunities, and full-time positions. Additionally, she is steadfast in her pursuit of establishing enduring strategic partnerships within the business landscape, aimed at providing mentorship and experiential learning opportunities for students, thereby fortifying Kogod's standing as a premier destination for top-tier talent globally. Through meticulous strategic planning and implementation of efficient organizational processes, Cynthia is resolute in elevating the recognition of Kogod's distinctive value proposition and nurturing an environment conducive to thriving external engagement, benefiting both students and employers alike.

With a rich professional background spanning over 25 years in corporate relations, human capital, and recruiting, Cynthia is deeply passionate about bridging the gap between employers and talented students, actively seeking opportunities to align individuals with their professional passions. Prior to her tenure at Kogod, Cynthia served as the Executive Director of Employer Connections at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland (UMD) for over 15 years, collaborating closely with key stakeholders on the conception, execution, and delivery of various career-oriented events and initiatives. Noteworthy among her accomplishments are the establishment and enhancement of the "Employer Experience" through initiatives such as the Employer Forum, Employer Appreciation Event, and The OCS Corporate Sponsorship Program.

Cynthia's commitment to excellence extends to her active involvement in professional associations, including the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance, Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE), and National Association of Colleges Employers (NACE), where she has contributed her expertise on various committees and serves as a member of the NACE Blog Team. Additionally, Cynthia holds the esteemed position of President-Elect of the HireBig10+ Career Consortium. Before transitioning to the Office of Career Services, Cynthia honed her skills in the retail and hospitality sectors, where she held pivotal roles encompassing sales, operations, and talent acquisition. She is a proud alumna of the University of Maryland, Global Campus, holding a bachelor's degree in business administration with a minor in Human Resources Management, as well as a master's degree in Human Resources Management.