Pasadena Resident Robert O'Brien Named National Security Adviser by President Trump

O'Brien's appointment comes at a time of global tension, as a confrontation with Iran develops and North Korea is now said to be close to full-fledged nuclear capability

Published : Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 5:44 AM

Pasadenan Robert C. O'Brien was sworn in as Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on July 17, 2018. On Wednesday, O'Brien was elevated to national security adviser by President Trump. U.S. State Department photo

President Donald Trump on Wednesday named Pasadenan Robert C. O’Brien as his new national security adviser, replacing John Bolton.

O’Brien, a partner at the Los Angeles law firm Larson O’Brien, joined Trump’s administration in May 2018 and has served as the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department.

He resides with his family in the Linda Vista area, where they moved from La Cañada Flintridge about two and a half years ago.

O’Brien received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA where he graduated cum laude and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, and his juris doctorate from UC Berkeley.

Standing beside Trump on a Los Angles International Airport Wednesday, O’Brien told reporters it was a “privilege” to be picked, according to the Associated Press.

O’Brien joins two other Pasadenans who filled high presidential administration ranks in the past.

Harold Brown was President of Caltech when he was selected to become the United States Secretary of Defense by President Jimmy Carter. Brown served in that capacity from 1977 to 1981.

Verne Orr, also a West Pasadena resident, was appointed Secretary of the Air Force by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Orr died in his Arroyo-area home in 2008.

Characteristically, Trump’s announcement of O’Brien’s appointment came via Twitter.

“I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

“He’s worked with me for quite a while now on hostages and we have a tremendous track record on hostages,” Trump said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.“Robert has been fantastic. We know each other well.”

O’Brien recently obtained the release of A$AP Rocky from Swedish authorities after the rapper was arrested and detained there on charges related to a street brawl.

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