137th Commencement Speaker

Brené Brown, Ph.D.

Visiting Professor, Management

McCombs School of Business • The University of Texas at Austin

Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair

The Graduate College of Social Work • University of Houston


Dr. Brené Brown, BSW '95, is a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Brené is also a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. 

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring GreatlyRising StrongBraving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.

Brené hosts the Unlocking Us podcast, and her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 45 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.