Mary O'Brien

Strategic Director of Advancement & Marketing Communications

Mary O'Brien, advancement
Office:Brownell Hall 201
Email:Send a message...


Earned and Honorary Degrees

BS Emerson College, Boston, MA


I’ve spent summers on Madeline Island all of my life; a family tradition that began with my great-great grandfather in 1857. Following my heart, I moved to Bayfield from the Twin Cities in 2015 after a fifteen-year career as a television writer and producer. I led the fundraising and communications efforts at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and Landmark Conservancy (formerly Bayfield Regional Conservancy) before joining the Advancement team at Northland College. I currently serve on the Plan Commission for the City of Bayfield and the Advisory Board of the Apostle Islands and Chequamegon Bay Area Community Funds, an affiliate of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

Why Northland?

A strong and vibrant Northland College is essential to the quality of life in our Chequamegon Bay communities. The alumni, faculty, staff, and students of this institution broadly enrich our region through their steadfast pursuit of Northland’s noble mission. I’m very proud to devote my daily energies toward nurturing relationships and securing resources to ensure the continued vitality of this important place!


I love exploring our area trails and beaches with my golden retriever, Chet, in snowshoes, hiking shoes, or bare feet, as the seasons allow. I enjoy music, film, learning to paint and garden, and spending time at our family cabin on Madeline Island.