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Julie Smendzuik-O'Brien

  • Community Faculty


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Human and Organizational Systems
    Fielding Graduate University
  • Master of Arts in Human Development, Human Development
    Fielding Graduate Universitiy
  • Master of Public Administration, Public Administration
    University Of South Dakota
  • Bachelor of Arts, Religion/Religious Studies
    Michigan State University

Recent and upcoming courses

Spring 2022

Fall 2022


Julie Smendzuik-O’Brien is a scholar-practitioner who served for over 25 years in professional, mid-level, and senior-level management positions in the agriculture, natural resources, and higher education agencies of Minnesota state government. An innovator, she created two internal organization development and change consulting programs in these agencies, and directed many other change efforts in policy development, organizational improvement, organization behavior, and strategic planning. She served shorter terms as an external consultant to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC and with the State of Michigan.

Smendzuik-O’Brien mixes passion for organizational improvement with a commitment to sustainability and social justice. She was a founding member of a non-profit association focused on sustainability of the U.S. food and farm system that has continued for over 30 years. In addition to past service on several non-profit boards and church councils, she is a current board member of the North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area, an effort to gain Congressional designation for the 8,000 square mile region spanning eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin as one of national significance to the history of the United States.

Since 2013 Smendzuik-O’Brien has served on the board of the Organization Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management and was recently elected as Executive Practitioner Representative-at-Large to a term through 2022.  In addition to membership in the Academy of Management, she is a member of the American Society for Public Administration, the Organization Development Network, International Leadership Association, and International Society of Sustainability Professionals. She also serves on the President's Sustainability Advisory Council at Fielding Graduate University where she is a Fellow of the Institute for Social Innovation.