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Alverno College’s Board of Trustees announced today (April 19, 2023), they have unanimously selected Milwaukee native and local executive Christy L. Brown, J.D. as the College’s ninth president. She succeeds Sister Andrea Lee, IHM, Ph.D. who ended her service in June 2022.
Brown has served as Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) since 2012. With more than 17,000 members, GSWISE provides programming in seven area counties designed to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
“I see a comparable goal in Alverno’s mission to prepare women for personal and professional distinction and meaningful engagement with the world,” Brown said. “To lead Alverno College — embracing its unique identity, Franciscan values, dedication to women’s education and commitment to social justice, inclusion and equity — will be a privilege and extraordinary opportunity to continue to impact the city from which I come.”
Brown starts her term July 5. Building on Alverno’s strengths, she will drive academic excellence and innovation, continue to attract courageous and forward-thinking students who look to develop themselves and contribute to their communities, and expand Alverno’s national and international reputation.
“Christy brings to Alverno a unique mix of higher education and mission-driven expertise focused on girls and young women’s leadership development,” said Katherine M. Hudson, Chair of Alverno’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair. “She is a dynamic, inspirational and transformational leader with more than two decades of results advancing organizational mission, vision and values while achieving unprecedented operational outcomes.”
Prior to joining GSWISE, Brown served as Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administrative Affairs, at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2007 to 2012 and as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Milwaukee Area Technical College from 2002 to 2007. She also served as Vice President, South East Region and Corporate Counsel, for Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan from 1997 to 2002, and as an Associate Attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich from 1994 to 1997.
Brown is a member of The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Board of Trustees and the Duke Law Alumnae Leadership Council, which is a select group of women graduates that advise on issues that impact women students and alumnae. She has also held leadership and membership roles at several other state and local organizations, including serving as past member of the Carroll University Board of Trustees and as a past appointee of the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board.
Brown has received numerous awards and honors including the TEMPO Mentor Award, the Milwaukee Business Journal Women of Influence (Inspiration) award and the Women and Girls Fund Women of Distinction award.
Like many Alverno students, Brown was a first-generation college student. She graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1987. With a passion for learning and scholarly achievement, she then pursued a joint-degree graduate program earning in 1994 both her Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law and a Master of Arts in Humanities with a focus on African American History and Women’s Studies from Duke University Graduate School.
Brown’s appointment concludes a nine-month national search led by the nine-member Presidential Search Committee comprised of Alverno trustees, faculty, staff and alumnae. Spencer Stuart, a global executive search and leadership consulting firm, assisted Alverno with the search process.
“Known both locally and nationally as a passionate advocate for girls and women, we can’t wait to welcome Christy to Alverno,” Hudson said. “We look forward Christy’s visionary and strategic leadership as we embark on the 2023-2024 academic year and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alverno’s innovative and revolutionary ‘8 Abilities’-based curriculum, which is the foundation of the Alverno experience.”
Brown’s inauguration ceremony is planned for next spring as part of Alverno’s annual Founders Day Celebration programming. To view Brown’s curriculum vitae, photos and more, please visit alverno.edu/Alverno-President.
About Alverno College
Based in Milwaukee, Wis., Alverno College is a four-year independent, Catholic, liberal arts college founded in 1887 by the School Sisters of St. Francis which promotes the academic, personal and professional development of its students in a collaborative and inclusive environment. A leader in higher education innovation, Alverno has earned international accolades for its highly effective ability-based, assessment-as-learning approach to education, which emphasizes hands-on experience and develops in-demand skills. The college, Wisconsin’s first Hispanic-Serving Institution, ranks among the top schools in the Midwest for its commitment to undergraduate teaching and innovation by U.S. News & World Report.
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