Tess O’Brien

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Tess supports purpose-driven organisations and governments to address complex challenges and create meaningful impact.

She leverages more than 10 years of international experience working at the intersection of strategy, policy analysis and project management.

Influential work

  • Led the creation of a one-stop-shop for migrants to formalise residency status and access social services, aggregating information from local and regional government departments of a major European city
  • Spearheaded the creation of a multi-agency media campaign promoting services for survivors of domestic violence in a major South American city
  • Led an extensive organisational review of funding from US federal agencies to the United Nations earmarked for populations of concern for the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • Advised on the design and launch of a government office that serves as a collaborative vehicle for local governments to engage on digital and data innovation in a major European city
  • Advised Africa’s leading private education provider on its expansion strategy into East Africa.

Outside of Nous

Prior to joining Nous, Tess was a Manager at Bloomberg Associates, the public sector consulting arm of Mike Bloomberg’s foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies in New York City. In this role, she advised leading global cities – including London, Paris, and Milan – on how to tackle their most pressing challenges.

Tess has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, where she has held roles focused on project management and leadership advisory across East Africa and in Cambodia. In addition, she spent a summer working as a Policy Fellow for UN Women, where she forged partnerships with leading global companies, universities and national governments; and advised on the formation of gender equality pledges within their institutions.

Tess has a Master of Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Women in Public Policy Fellow; and a Bachelor of International and Global Studies from the University of Sydney. She has also studied French at the Sorbonne University in Paris and international affairs and Spanish translation at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Madrid.

In her spare time...

You’ll find Tess chasing after her toddler, debating current affairs with her husband, or rediscovering Sydney’s beaches after having lived abroad.