U.S. Security Adviser O’Brien Tests Positive for COVID-19

Photo courtesy U.S. State Department
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, a former LCF resident, has tested positive for COVID-19 but is experiencing only mild symptoms, according to President Trump’s administration.

Former La Cañada Flintridge resident Robert C. O’Brien, who is serving as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has tested positive for COVID-19, the White House confirmed in a statement this week.
O’Brien appears to be doing well, however, as the White House stated: “He has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site.”
O’Brien joins the 4.34 million Americans who’ve been confirmed as having the disease, which has killed more than 148,866.
The statement emphasized that there has been “no risk of exposure to the president or vice president. The work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted.”
Although O’Brien and wife, Lo-Mari, reside in Pasadena, they lived in LCF for nearly two decades, and their children — son Robert and daughters Margaret and Lauren — attended local schools, including La Cañada Elementary School and La Cañada High School. Robert died in a pool accident in 2015.
Before being named Trump’s fourth national security adviser, O’Brien served as special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, having been appointed by Trump in 2018. In that position, he led U.S. efforts to negotiate the return of citizens held by foreign governments, and also was tasked with maintaining a dialogue with the families of hostages in coordination with the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell.
O’Brien, who attained the rank of major in the U.S. Army Reserve, also served as co-chairman of the State Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan during both the Bush and Obama administrations. In this role he worked to train Afghan judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers in an effort to promote the rule of law. Bush later appointed O’Brien to the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee, which advises the federal government about the trafficking of antiquities and other items of cultural significance. He served in this role from 2008-11.
O’Brien is a Los Angeles native who graduated cum laude from UCLA with a degree in political science and earned a law degree from UC Berkeley. In his L.A.-based private practice, Larson O’Brien LLP, he has focused on litigation and international arbitration.

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