HFS Core Team

Melissa O'Brien

Research Vice President - Head of HFS Academy

Melissa O'Brien is Research Vice President, Customer Engagement, Retail and Travel Strategies at HFS Research. Melissa leads HFS’ customer experience focused research initiatives, diving in on the trends and change agents, such as digital associates, that are driving customer experience across the enterprise. In addition, her industry research focuses on key dynamics within retail, CPG, travel and hospitality, with regards to customer-centric strategies, intelligent operations and service delivery.


Melissa brings over 15 years of both hands-on industry and analyst experience to her role at HFS. She previously led IDC’s Worldwide Customer Experience Services program, including in depth analysis of evolving contact center business process delivery and consumer communication trends. Prior to IDC, Melissa held various roles in the contact center BPO industry, including program design and implementation and training development for contact centers in Manila and Cebu, Philippines.  Melissa is a regular speaker at NRF’s Big Retail Show, CXOutsourcers, NASSCOM, and various other service provider and industry events.


Melissa graduated with honors from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English and Communication. She is a Boston area native who enjoys traveling, kickboxing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and hound dogs.