After 17 Years at iMentor, Mike O’Brien Announces He Will Transition Out of His Role as CEO Over the Course of This Year


NEW YORK, August 7, 2020—Mike O’Brien, the CEO of the national college success organization iMentor, has announced he will transition out of the role of CEO this year. iMentor’s board of directors has begun the process of identifying iMentor’s next CEO, and is pleased that Mike has agreed to remain with the organization to ensure a seamless transition to new leadership.

Mike joined iMentor in 2003 and became CEO in 2007. Under his leadership, the organization has grown from serving 400 high school students in New York City to a national organization serving more than 10,000 students across 51 high schools in 22 communities. Mike’s vision helped shape iMentor into one of the nation’s leading post-secondary success organizations. iMentor has created and supported more than 30,000 relationships during his tenure.

“As iMentor celebrates its 20th anniversary and as I head into my 17th year at the organization, I am incredibly proud of what we have built together and the organization iMentor has become. I am as passionate as ever about the urgency of our work in this moment,” said Mike. “While this is an unstable time in our world, iMentor as an organization is on sure footing, with the financial resources, talent, and programming we will need to provide the best possible support to our students in the years ahead. I believe this is also a moment of great innovation and creativity, as iMentor writes this next chapter in its organizational evolution. I am excited about creating the opportunity for new leadership to be a part of crafting that vision for iMentor’s future.”

“We set out 20 years ago to harness the power of mentoring to provide all students equal access to educational opportunities. I am so proud of the growth and impact we have achieved, and the national movement iMentor has become, thanks to Mike’s leadership,” said John Griffin, iMentor founder and board chair and founder of Blue Ridge Capital. “Mike’s vision for what is possible has fundamentally shaped our organization. His legacy will be one of excellence, innovation, growth, and impact, and an enduring commitment to ensuring all young people have equitable access to post-secondary success.”

Through his experience as a high school teacher early in his career, Mike came to appreciate the vital role personal relationships played in student’s educational experiences and outcomes. This belief in the truly transformative power of relationships has been at the center of the organizational culture he has helped shaped and the growth he has fueled. It has enabled iMentor to engage communities in service of providing greater support to the schools and students who need that support the most.

“I am so excited for iMentor’s future and cannot wait to see what this next 20 years will bring,” said Mike. “While we begin the search for iMentor’s next CEO, the leadership team and I remain focused on the important work ahead of us this year and providing the most powerful program possible for our stakeholders during this challenging time.”

About iMentor

iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower first-generation students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions. iMentor was created in 1999 by John Griffin, Richard Buery and Matt Klein. Launched with just 49 students in a single school in the South Bronx, today, iMentor serves more than 10,000 students through our direct-service programs in Baltimore, the Bay Area, Chicago, and New York City, and through our partnerships with local non-profit organizations that implement our model in 51 public schools.


Shari Mason
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