Gwen O'Brien

Gwen O Brien

Director of Community Relations


As Director of Community Relations in the Office for Public Affairs, Gwen serves the University as a campus/community liaison, initiating and building relationships between Notre Dame and local community organizations to promote meaningful engagement. In 2023-24, she looks forward to working with partners on the 2024 Regional Economic Impact Report, which will be published in the fall of 2024.

Gwen joined the Public Affairs team in July 2022 with 15 years of communications and relationship building experience refined at the University of Notre Dame, as Director of Internal Communications, and at Saint Mary’s College, as Director of Integrated Communications and Director of Media Relations. 

She has been an active member of the South Bend-Elkhart community for several years, recording local history as a reporter/on-air host for the South Bend Tribune, WSBT-TV and WNIT-TV. She and her family are parishioners at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Granger, where she has served in ministries and on committees for more than 20 years. She currently sits on the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization (NNRO) Board of Directors, the DTSB (Downtown South Bend) Board of Directors and the Hannah's House Board of Directors.

Gwen earned her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Kansas and attended Sacred Heart grade school and high school in the Chicago area, where she grew up.

On a personal note, motivated by the economic renaissance underway in South Bend, in 2021 Gwen and her family relocated from Granger to the Northeast Neighborhood, steps from the campus where they can cheer on the Irish without having to look for a place to park!