Obituary | Jonathan P. O'Brien

· 2 min read

Obituary | Jonathan P. O’Brien

A color photo of Jonathan P. O'Brien on a black campus background

Jonathan P. O’Brien, 52, chair of the Department of Management, professor of management and U.S. Bank Distinguished Professor of Business, died Oct. 9 in Lincoln from complications from an infection.

O’Brien joined the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2015, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in several areas of management, including strategies for sustainability, research design and methods, and strategic management. A leader in the greater management community, he also served on the editorial boards for five prestigious management and business research journals.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of New Brunswick in St. John, Canada, a master’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University and a doctoral degree in strategic management from Purdue University. He also served on the faculties at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University College Dublin and the University of Notre Dame. He focused his research on the governance of strategic assets, real options, capital structure, the institutional environment, and behavioral influences on firm strategy.

“Jon was a vital part of the Nebraska Business community, from teaching countless students, conducting research, serving on the leadership team to fostering community through his engagement in various ways,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business. “He even served as ‘coach’ for his colleagues on our coed recreational softball team. He had a tremendous impact on the college and will be greatly missed.”

He was born Nov. 30, 1970, in Canada to James R. And Lorra Patricia (Pare) O’Brien. He is survived by his children, Ben and Molly, and his wife, Jennifer K. Ryan, who serves as chair of the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics and Van Horne Family Endowed Chair in the College of Business.

O’Brien also was an avid sports fan and dedicated to his personal fitness. He will be remembered for his offbeat sense of humor and his affection for his cats, Oreo and CeCe.

Memorial gifts can be made to Catholic Relief Services. To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.

To read his full obituary, click here.

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