Commissioner O’Brien was appointed in 2008 by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Melanie graduated from Skidmore College with a major in Government with honors. She earned her J.D. degree at Suffolk University Law School.
Melanie became a name partner with a New Haven County law firm after seven years. Subsequently she founded her own law firm in her hometown of Ridgefield in 1994. Currently her practice is located in Bethel. She is happiest when battling for the disadvantaged or unsophisticated client.
Melanie was appointed to serve on the Town of Bethel Ethics Commission when it was first created and thereafter was re-appointed for several terms . In 2001 she was appointed to be the first female town attorney for the Town of Bethel. She has served ten years on the Bethel VNA. In 2008 she was appointed by Governor Rell to serve on the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. In 2009 she was elected to the Bethel Board of Education. In 2010 she was asked to help create a Women’s Division of the Danbury Chamber of Commerce and serves on that group’s steering committee. In the meantime, she has taught paralegal courses as an adjunct faculty member at Post University, been a girl scout leader, a Sunday school teacher, a school classroom presenter and volunteered in various capacities.
She believes strongly that education (preferably combined with mentoring) is the equalizer between socio-economic groups. Though an advocate for women in business and leadership, she is moreover a proponent of human rights and fairness for all people.
Melanie O’ Brien is a twenty five year resident of Bethel, married and has four children.