This Week's Guest:

Air Date: January 18, 2024
Cooperative Advocate

Doug O’Brien, President & CEO of National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International, discusses 2024 Initiatives


Doug O’Brien, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) discusses his cooperative journey, and the 2024 initiatives for NCBA CLUSA.

Doug O’Brien works with the cooperative community, both domestically and internationally, to deepen their impact and influence. NCBA CLUSA is the primary voice for cooperatives in the United States for using the cooperative business model to empower people in their businesses and communities. Doug has been with NCBA since 2016 and became president and CEO in January 2018. Before coming to NCBA CLUSA, Doug led the work of the White House Rural Council and served in top positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture focusing on rural economic development.

Doug has also worked in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and for two Governors O’Brien’s experience in academia includes teaching and writing at the University of Arkansas Law School and Drake University Law School. O’Brien was raised on a diversified farm in Dubuque County, Iowa, and holds degrees from Loras College (Dubuque, Iowa), the University of Iowa Law School, and the University of Arkansas Masters in Agricultural and Food Law Program.

Our host, Vernon Oakes, is a consummate advocate for cooperatives. He is a Past President of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and he’s served on several boards and committees to advance the interests of cooperatives. Recently, he served on the Limited Equity Cooperative Task Force, established by Anita Bonds, At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia. Vernon is an MBA graduate of Stanford University, who has used his business acumen to benefit the community, by promoting the added value of the cooperative business model. 

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