Shannon O’Brien, Ed.D. has been in the field of education in both formal and informal settings for over 25 years. She has taught at the high school and college levels and more recently, as policy advisor to Governor Steve Bullock, she worked on issues and collaboration efforts ranging from early childhood learning to workforce training and economic development. Shannon was part of identifying and defining real problems in policy and finding solutions that work.
Shannon has served as chair and vice chair of her local democratic party, and volunteered on numerous campaigns, including her own when she was elected at the county level.
Shannon earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana, where she later returned to serve as dean of Missoula College. While in this role, she lead the development of an elaborate apprenticeship program through careful work between higher education and private industry.
Shannon completed coursework in the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington. She earned a master’s degree from Gonzaga University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Washington. She worked in early college and college access, supporting families of low income and ethnic minorities in North Carolina and with the Lummi Nation in Washington State.
Shannon grew up on Orcas Island, just south of Canada’s Gulf Islands. She learned the important lessons of how one voice can make a difference, the value of every person’s perspective, and the many gifts of nature. She now lives in the Rattlesnake Creek neighborhood of Missoula Montana with her husband, Chuck Dumke, son Carter and their dog Rastro. Shannon enjoys cooking, skiing and coffee talks with her friends and family.