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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Brian Kibler


Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Brian Kibler is dedicated to creating lasting positive social change through organizational development, building community, and darn good storytelling. Brian spent most of their childhood moving across the country (being a double Army brat has its perks!), finally settling in the Greater Boston area. Recently, Brian has been working in development and communications for an environmental organization, Groundwork Lawrence, served for two terms in AmeriCorps building social capital through volunteer engagement, and spent many summers singing, dancing, and teaching theater at Acting Out! Theater Company. Outside of work (and sometimes there as well) Brian has a penchant for wordplay, an affinity for dramatic entrances (and exits), and a habit of sinking into a diversionary Wodehouse novel or Borgesian labyrinth.


Brian received a BA from Salem State University in history, has a certificate in nonprofit management from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice through the Tisch College at Tufts University, and they are pursuing a dual MBA and MPP at the Heller School at Brandeis University.


What made you consider business school?

When I was an AmeriCorps member, I attended a lecture on philanthropy which ended with a charge to the folx in the room who are drawn to the change sector but under-represented in leadership - women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. The way we can make sure we're always at the decision-making table is if we learn the ins-and-outs of the money, meaning both fundraising and financial management. I took that advice to heart. And I imagine that business school is a whole lot more (and I hope it is), I want to gain the necessary skills and build up my knowledge base to always be at the decision-making table.


What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I loved what I studied in undergrad, but I took a lot of poetry classes. And I don't regret it, and I have a Pablo Neruda up my sleeve for every occasion. I'm really excited to augment that with some deeper quant reasoning and skills. Beyond that, I see Heller alum everywhere, and I'm pumped to join that network.


Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Countless people. My parents were both soldiers, and they both embody service above self for me. Hillary Clinton (borrowing from Eleanor Roosevelt) for growing the thickest rhinoceros skin you can. Harvey Fierstein, Billy Porter, Sean Hayes, Nathan Lane, Tim Murphy, Stephen Sondheim, RuPaul, Brandi Carlile, Hannah Gadsby - and all other LGBTQ people who create brilliant, lifesaving, and incredibly gay culture. Harvey Milk and Maura Healey. Amy Rapone and Heather McMann. Patti LuPone.


What's one thing everyone should know about you?

Regardless of how innocuous or sappy, I will cry watching/listening to almost any live performance. Romeo and Juliet? As soon as Benvolio says the day is hot. Any commercial showing a military parent coming home from the field. Hearing my executive director tell our founding story for the 100th time (it gets me every time!).