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U.S. Citizen. 5 years international development work through USDA FAS stationed with the Organization of American States (OAS) at IICA Headquarters in Costa Rica as an agricultural development and food safety specialist for all Latin America.  Fluent in Spanish with career focused in areas of Environmental Sciences and policy, natural resources protection and International agricultural development. Experienced in International environmental and trade diplomacy in Latin America. Developed and executed policy and project initiatives on both the production and diplomatic levels in various countries . Additional experience includes work as environmental engineering industry lobbyist in Washington D.C., USGS water resources and ecological researcher. Two years of Peace Corps Volunteer service in Natural Resources Management and community development (1994-1996) in Costa Rica. Private sector experience working directly with international trade as green coffee buyer with extensive international and remote site travel for specialty coffee importing companies. 

Work History


International Trade Consultant

Coffee Buyer/Independent Consultant - Full Time

Consultant responsible for direct green coffee sourcing, export/import requirements, producer relations, quality control and principle client contact. Focus is to source directly traded high quality green coffees that are traceable to the producers and are bought and sold at prices that are fair and sustainable for both producers and quality coffee roasters.


International Agricultural Development and Food Safety Specialist

Organization of American States(OAS)/USDA Foreign Agriculture Service - Full Time

Placed as specialist at HQ of IICA, the agricultural institute of the OAS, through USDA-FAS. Coordinated with government agencies and representative from all 34 OAS member nations.  Extensive travel and projects throughout L.A. Provided technical assistance and developed project analysis and informational reports in cooperation with regional IICA offices, national governments and international private partners.  Included research and policy discussions concerning trade, food safety, climate change, water and food security for the Americas.  Position was as diplomatic official of OAS(IICA) but managed through USDA FAS in Washington DC.  Facilitated inter-governmental and public-private sector communication on politically sensitive policy initiatives.  Representative to UN-FAO Codex Alimentarious. Produced technical and educational presentations at recognized international forums in both Spanish and English.  FAS Supervisor contact -, 516-427-9117 


Ecological Research Specialist

National Water Resources Project USGS - Reston Virginia - Full Time

Water Research Specialist U.S. Geological Survey-Reston, Virginia Water resources specialist. Government researcher for three national wetland research and restoration projects located in the Chesapeake Bay, Florida Everglades and Lower Mississippi Basin. Coordinated with regional scientists, generated scientific reports, abstracts and GIS data sets based on remote sensing and experimental results. Developed and executed field and lab research experiments. Studied the biological, chemical, and physical processes, including climate change, that impact aquatic and wetland ecosystems. Promoted technical exchanges of information through presentations and training with other scientists and organizations. USGS Supervisor - Cliff Hupp -


Asistant Director Government Affairs and Operation

American Consulting Engineers Council - Full Time

Assistant Director, Hazardous Waste Action Coalition (HWAC) of American Consulting Engineers Council, K Street, Washington, DC.  Registered lobbyist for Hazardous Waste Action Coalition (HWAC). Represented and supported the interests of 60 leading U.S. environmental engineering and science firms.  Worked with U.S. lawmakers to provide technical analysis of implications of proposed government regulations.


Peacer Corps Volunteer

Peace Corps-Costa Rica
Natural Resources Managment Specialized in natural resource management, sustainable rural agricultural and environmental education. Coordinated and assisted network of over 500 farmers with all stages of the production of high altitude crops and exportation and certification of organic agricultural products. Organized and taught technical training sessions on food safety, BAP, and quality control. Conducted resource analysis, reforestation, watershed management, soil enhancement, and sustainable agricultural practices.



Masters of Science - Environmental Science and Policy

Johns Hopkins University

B.A - Environmental Science

University of Kansas


World Bank Diagnostic Trade Integration Study - Uganda, Standards and Trade: Experience, Capacities, and Priorities. Report team: Steven Jaffee, Tom Deeb, Tim O’Brien, Yolanda Strachan, and Rose Kiggundu. January 2006.

Tim O’Brien, “A closer look at how the Americas’ are advancing the WTO/SPS agreement”, Proceedings: International Conference on Sanitary & Phytosanitary (SPS) Risk Assessment Methodology, Washington DC, August 9-11, 2005.

Tim M. O’Brien, “Las demandas o expectativas de los mercados modernos para productos inocuos”, Proceedings: IX Congreso Internacional de Manejo Integrado de Plagas, El Salvador. November 3-5, 2004.

Tim M. O’Brien, Alejandra Diaz Rodríguez, “Improving competitiveness and market access for agricultural exports through the development and application of food safety and quality standards: The example of Peruvian asparagus”, Report of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Costa Rica, July 2004.

Tim M. O'Brien, "Building SPS and National Capacity", World Bank Seminar presentation, Washington DC, March 8-9, 2004.

Tim M. O’Brien, “Agricultural Health and Food Safety and the Private Sector”, Proceedings Foro International: Agronegocios de Frutas Tropicales, El Salvador.November 27-28, 2003.

Dr. Kevin Walker, Tim O’Brien, “Accidental Introduction or Deliberate Use of Biological Agents in Food and Agriculture: Level of Preparedness of National Services in Latin America and the Caribbean”, Proceedings: International Aspects of Accidental Release or Deliberate Use of Biological Agents Affecting Food and Agriculture, Texas A&M University, Houston, Texas. October 14-15, 2003.

David J. Williams, Nancy B. Rybicki, Alfonso V. Lombana, Tim M. O’Brien, Richard B. Gomez, “Preliminary Investigation of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing,” Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2003, v. 81, p. 383-392.