Administrative staff, Bath Iron Works (BIW), Defense, Democratic Policy Committee, Foreign affairs, Loring Air Force Base, Maine, Majority Leader, Middle East, Negotiating skills
Brett O’Brien was born on January 27, 1963, in Inglewood, California, to William and Rosalie O’Brien. He spent most of his youth in San Diego and attended Harvard, graduating in 1985. He worked for the American University in Cairo, Egypt, completed a master’s program at the London School of Economics, and then worked at the Congressional Research Service in foreign affairs and national defense. He worked for Congressman Jim Bates from San Diego, California, as a legislative assistant in foreign affairs. He began working for George Mitchell on the Democratic Policy Committee as a researcher and writer, which also included being an assistant to the Senate majority leader’s aides.
Interview includes discussion of: O’Brien’s educational background; his interest in international relations; working at the Congressional Research Service; working on the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and meeting Mitchell; Defense Authorization Bill; Mitchell’s addressing Maine issues, such as Bath Iron Works, from Washington; working on the Middle East portfolio, especially foreign assistance to Lebanon; the military base closure process and Loring Air Force Base, Brunswick, Charleston, and Long Beach bases; and Mitchell’s decision-making process.
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