Elissa O'Brien, SHRM-SCP, Chief Membership Officer

​Elissa O'Brien, MBA, MS, SHRM-SCP, has over 20 years of proven human resource successes with significant strategic human resource leadership experience among diverse industries. A strategist, problem-solver and proactive business leader, she has comprehensive executive human resource management experience with one of the largest for-profit health care systems and one of the largest real estate management and development organizations. O'Brien led HR strategies at companies with as many as 25,000 employees, including global HR experience. She has been a member of both senior leadership and executive leadership teams since 1995. An influential change agent with extensive organizational development expertise, she consistently designed structures that support performance-driven organizations using human capital strategies.

Prior to joining SHRM, O'Brien served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief HR Officer with WinnCompanies, where she led the creation of strategic initiatives to ensure the effective use of human capital by fostering a shared business vision among diverse groups with varied interests.  Prior to joining the WinnCompanies, she served as Head of Corporate Human Resources for Steward Health Care System LLC. In addition to her work experience, she was an adjunct professor teaching human resources management at Bryant University, a leading business school located in Rhode Island.

O'Brien has served in a number of volunteer roles for SHRM, including on the Special Expertise Panel on Labor Relations, as State Director for the Rhode Island State Council of SHRM and as President of the Human Resources Management Association of Rhode Island. She was an active member of SHRM beginning in 1993. She has testified before the U.S. Senate committee on H.E.L.P. and the U.S. Department of Labor, and she was an invited guest speaker at Georgetown University on issues relating to government mandates of leaves of absences and workplace flexibility.  

She holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Science Degree in managerial technology from Johnson and Wales University, Providence, R.I., and a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources management from Salve Regina University, Newport, R.I.

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