Dr O'Brien is currently the Director at the Centre for Distance Learning, UCD College of Business, where she overseas the domestic part-time programmes and the College's significant overseas operations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Dr O'Brien joined UCD in 2002 and has established expertise in programme governance, teaching excellence, transnational education, blended learning and the undergraduate research experience. Orna completed her doctorate at University of Edinburgh (2010) in the field of tertiary educational policy development. She holds a Graduate Diploma in University Teaching and Learning (UCD), a Certificate in Training and Continuing Education (NUI, Maynooth) and a Certificate in Education Technology (UCD). She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE -UK). In addition to her role as Director with strategic and operational responsibility , Orna is the module coordinator and delivers a number of the undergraduate and postgraduate research modules in Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka. She primarily delivers modules in the areas of Human Resource Management and Business Research Methods. Orna is also scholarly active with a regular research output. Her areas of research interest include the globalisation of higher education and education policy, Technology Enabled Learning (TEL) and research skills development for undergraduate students. In December 2016, she was invited to join the Expert Group for the Irish National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education for her work in higher education assessment. Dr O'Brien was awarded a 'Teaching Excellence' award by UCD College of Business in 2017. She was further nominated for the overall University award by the College of Business for 'Teaching Excellence'.
- BSocScUniversity College Dublin
- MBSUniversity College Dublin
- PhDUniversity of Edinburgh