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Bill O'Brien

Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Forces Project Director

Bill O'Brien co-organized three summits to identify emerging art-sci practices among the nation’s leading artists, scientists and technologists in partnership with the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He also co-organized a complex-system working group investigation into The Nature of Creativity in the Brain in partnership with the Santa Fe Institute. Since 2011, Bill has served as the agency’s Project Director for Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network. Previously, Bill served the agency as Deputy Chairman of Grants and Awards and as the Director of Theater and Musical Theatre. Prior to joining the Endowment, he produced numerous award winning theatrical productions, including the Tony-honored Deaf West Theatre Production of Big River. He has also acted in numerous theatrical and television productions, including performances in 48 states, and as an ensemble player on all seven seasons as Kenny (Marlee Matlin’s sign language interpreter) on NBC's The West Wing.