J. Dennis O'Brien

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J. Dennis O'Brien
J dennis obrien.jpg
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
Former Officeholder
In office
February 7, 2008 - January 6, 2014
Base salary$88,448
Elections and appointments
AppointedFebruary 7, 2008
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Minnesota
Master'sUniversity of Minnesota School of Law
Office website
J. Dennis O'Brien was on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.[1] O'Brien was appointed Commissioner by Gov. Tim Pawlenty on February 7, 2008.[1][2] His term expired on January 6, 2014.[3]


O’Brien joined the Pawlenty administration in January 2007 as Executive Director of the Governor’s Health Cabinet.[1] He also served as Director of Strategic Planning.

Prior to his appointment, Dennis was a partner in the Littler Mendelson Law Firm.[1] O'Brien began his legal career as a Special Assistant District Attorney General representing the State Department of Education and other State Education agencies.

He was a partner in the firm of LeFevere, Lefler, Kennedy, O’Brien and Drawz from 1969-1989 and was a partner at the Rider, Bennett Firm from 1989-2004.[1] O’Brien was a registered lobbyist from 1969 through 1983 sessions of the Minnesota Legislature, principally working in the areas of school finance.[1]

He is an adjunct member of the University of Minnesota College of Education and has also been a frequent lecturer at CLE seminars on labor relations matters, discrimination, and school law.[1]


  • University of Minnesota., B.A.
  • University of Minnesota School of Law, J.D.[1]

Political career

Public Utilities Commission (2008-2014)

O'Brien served as Commissioner from February 7, 2008 to January 6, 2014.[1][3]



O'Brien was appointed to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Gov. Tim Pawlenty on February 7, 2008.[1][4]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Minnesota Public Service Commission
Succeeded by
Dan Lipschultz