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Meet the Major Programmes team

Devin Paul O'Brien

Devin was born in Trinidad and came to England with his parents in the early 80s.

“My parents were seeking new and more opportunities in ‘Mother England’. My mum’s mother was already over here with some of my mum’s siblings, and we all ‘landed’ in one council house in Kingsbury, London. I still remember it so well; each family unit had a bedroom, and my younger brother Sean-Michel was born there.”

“When my parents had saved enough, we moved to Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is a very diverse city now but back then we were the only brown people in our neighbourhood and the racism was memorable. We had lots of love and happy times, but my brothers and I still feel the marks of that racism.”

The value of education was drummed into Devin from an early age and inspires him to create opportunities for others.

“Although I got into trouble a lot, I did well academically and was the first person in my school to go to Cambridge. Cambridge taught me how to thrive in the UK in a way that my parents could not have imagined. The legacy of this is that I don’t take progress (personal, career, society) for granted and I am passionate about creating equitable opportunities for people.”

Devin joined Deloitte in 2010 and has been designing, setting up, delivering, and improving capital projects ever since. He values the space and buy-in Deloitte gives you to explore new opportunities “if you just ask for it”.

"The thing that motivates me the most is wanting my sons to know that I did what I could at work and at home to highlight and address climate change."

“A couple of years ago I said to the leaders in my area that I wanted to set up a Sustainability & Climate offering. The answers were a variation of “yes, of course, what do you need?”. I spoke to friends working in this area, did some research, spoke to clients, did some training and wrote a paper on Delivering Sustainable Capital Projects. A client got in touch to say that they liked the paper and they’d be keen to talk about it, thus spawning my first Sustainability & Climate project. I never looked back and now lead MP’s Sustainability & Climate Community.”

There are always big, scary opportunities to grow at Deloitte; when one comes along you have to grab it.

“On my birthday in 2020, the pandemic was beginning to kick off and I heard that Deloitte were going to help with the Department of Health & Social Care’s response. Within a couple of days, I was leading the setup of the physical test site network in the UK, opening the first one in Nottingham then evolving that model and rolling it out to 600+ sites across the UK.”

“The programme was huge, and it was the biggest team effort that I have ever been involved in. Major Programmes is all about making impact at scale and in the most ambiguous situations, so it seemed a natural fit for my experience to date.”

When it comes to Sustainability and Climate, Devin hopes to be an inspiration to his sons.

“The thing that motivates me the most is wanting my sons to know that I did what I could at work and at home to highlight and address climate change; it inspires me every day.”

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