Patricia O’Brien is Senior Vice President of the New England Commission of Higher Education which accredits more than 230 colleges and universities. Previously, O’Brien worked at Bridgewater State University as director of institutional research and assessment, later as associate vice president for planning and assessment. She was a former adjunct faculty member at Harvard University and Emmanuel College in Boston. O’Brien received a B.A. in psychology from Wellesley College and master's and doctoral degrees in Education from Harvard University.