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Kurt O'Brien

Kurt is an independent consultant and also holds a faculty position as a senior lecturer with the University of Washington’s Department of Health Services Master in Healthcare Administration (MHA) program. He has over twenty years of experience in the field of organization development and eighteen years of direct leadership experience; his primary focus is on providing innovative ways for individuals, teams and organizations to learn and develop. Specifically, he works with leaders to help them more fully develop their leadership craft – their capacity to lead their teams and organizations through the complex challenges they face.


Kurt is a highly skilled group facilitator, and specializes in the areas of leadership development and coaching, interpersonal skills development, team development, strategic planning, and conflict resolution. Additionally, he designs and conducts workshops on topics such as adaptive leadership, leading change, emotional intelligence, dialogue/ community building, and working through conflict.


Kurt was with University of Washington (UW) Medicine for fifteen years, including seven as the director of Organization Development and Training, where he worked with leaders and teams from the executive level to those providing care directly at the bedside. Prior to joining the UW he spent twelve years as an active duty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.


Kurt received his Master’s in Human Resources and Organization Development (MHROD) from the University of San Francisco in 1997. He recently co-authored a book for healthcare leaders titled, Leading Adaptive Teams in Healthcare Organizations, has written or contributed to various articles, and is often invited to speak at conferences on a range of leadership topics.

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