Ian O'Brien appointed SIT Director of Security

O'brien headshotBRATTLEBORO, Vermont – School for International Training is pleased to announce the appointment of Ian O’Brien to fill a new position focused on enhancing SIT’s rigorous safety and security measures for our students abroad.

As SIT Director of Security, O’Brien will monitor, analyze and report risk in the countries where SIT Study Abroad and SIT Graduate Institute programs are hosted. He will also lead efforts to strengthen SIT safety initiatives and emergency response planning.

“I’m excited to join a dedicated SIT team and organization that is strongly committed to the well-being of students on their programs, and I look forward to building on the strong foundation of safety and security support they have in place,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien brings to the position more than 15 years of experience as an international development operations and program management professional. His background includes working with civil society organizations and local government programs in central and subcontinental Asia, eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He also has extensive experience designing field operations policies and security protocols.

O’Brien has lived and worked in Central Asia and Southern Africa and has managed project activities in challenging environments including Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Kosovo.

Each year, SIT Study Abroad sends more than 2,000 undergraduates from colleges and universities throughout the United States some 80 immersive, field-based programs, including comparative programs that take students to multiple locations. During these semester- and summer-long programs, students live with local families, travel to other program-related locations, visit NGOs and government ministries, and on select programs may choose either to conduct independent research or intern with local organizations.

Likewise, SIT Graduate Institute offers global master’s degrees in which students spend each semester in a different country. Launched in 2018, the SIT MA in Climate Change and Global Sustainability takes place in Iceland and Tanzania, and starting in 2019, a new MA in Humanitarian Assistance and Crisis Intervention will be taught in Jordan and Uganda.