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John P. O'Donnell

John P. O'Donnell

Executive Director, Lean Enterprise Institute
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John O'Donnell is LEI's Executive Director with oversight over the Lean Global Network (LGN), the Lean Education Academic Network (LEAN), and the newly organized Public Service Value Network (PSVN).

The purpose of PSVN is to create greater awareness of how Lean thinking and practice can improve the effectiveness, quality and delivery of public services (government, social and community-based) and help organizations accelerate the Lean transformation process. LEI will launch the PSVN in partnership with Lean pioneers in the public and nonprofit sectors in the second half of 2014.

John became the Lean Global Network's first Executive Director in November 2007 after 30 years of service with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). Within RITA, John ran a fee-for-service organization leading a staff of 160 transportation professionals overseeing a $50 million research portfolio. Typical programs involved evaluating the socio-economic and market factors related to the adoption of new transportation technologies, assessing the safety of transportation programs and systems, and developing effective public policies and regulations. John also served as the Acting Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics in late 2006.

From 1987-90, John served as Program Coordinator and Research Affiliate for Massachusetts Institute of Technology's International Motor Vehicle Program. The program produced the critically acclaimed book, The Machine That Changed the World. John contributed innovative research into the impact changes in motor vehicle product and production plans would have on auto company strategies, employment and the industrial base. John was one of the federal government's lead analysts in the Chrysler loan guarantee deliberations and was a principal author of the landmark Department of Transportation Report to the President on the U.S. Automobile Industry, 1980 which publicly introduced the "$1,500 comparative cost advantage of the Japanese automakers". This significant finding pointed to the fundamental differences between the Japanese and western production process and served as the launching point for many of the industrialized nations' investigations into the Toyota production system, including MIT's International motor Vehicle Programs.

John holds degrees in Economics and Management from Boston College and the University of New Hampshire and was a member of the federal government's Senior Executive Service for over seven years.

Articles by John P. O'Donnell
Public Service: Lean's Next Frontier?
John O'Donnell and Lex Schroeder share the thinking behind LEI's new Public Service Value Network and invite you to contribute to a new and fast-growing community of practice. More »
Developing Lean Skills for Future Transformations
State money and, more recently, federal Economic Recovery dollars might be available for you to fund lean training. A good place to start looking for what’s available locally is the U.  S. Department of Labor’s “One-Stop Career Center System.  ” More »