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PAD instructor shares expertise with Cato Institute in nation’s capital

Apr 11, 2017

Dr. John N. O’Brien, an instructor in Flagler College’s Public Administration Department (PAD), provided a presentation to members of the Cato Institute — a public policy research organization in Washington, D.C. — on ways to increase employment opportunities for displaced and unemployed workers. During his visit, he also met on Capitol Hill with staff members of seven legislative offices to discuss strategies for developing legislation that embodied his presentation’s concepts. The proposal itself was developed in large part after class discussions while teaching a PAD course titled “The Public Economy,” which illuminates how U.S. government develops and executes economic policy.

O’Brien’s proposal places primary emphasis on providing direct information conduits for jobseekers to both employment opportunities and, where needed, direction on skills acquisition.

The Flagler instructor has over 40 years of experience in the energy business. He is president and CEO of the Vista Energy Group, a managing partner in Shale and Sands Oil Recovery, LLC, and CEO of Vista Lighting Inc. He is also executive director of the nonprofit Sunlight Is Free, Inc., which is a charity providing off-grid lighting in impoverished communities. His areas of expertise include the restructuring and functioning of the electric and natural gas markets and infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada; solar energy regulation; and investment banking and analysis in the energy sector, among others.

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