Branden joined Loyola Marymount University as associate provost in June 2015, where he leads the LMU Career and Professional Development team. In this role he oversees the office responsible for successfully launching all LMU undergraduate and graduate students into their professional careers. 96% of LMU undergraduates are employed, enrolled in graduate school, or pursuing post-graduate service within six months of graduation.
A frequent conference presenter and speaker, Branden specializes in diversity and inclusion in the workplace, rebranding career services, and measuring and reporting post-graduate outcomes. His work in the field of higher education has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, American Public Media's Marketplace, ABC-7, the Career Leadership Collective, and the book Will College Pay Off? by Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School of Business. Branden was the 2020 recipient of the Diversity and Inclusion Award, given annually by MPACE (Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers) to an individual committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work.
Before joining LMU, Branden served as the founding director of the Piper Center for Vocation and Career at St. Olaf College, charged by the president to transform the center into an innovative, results-oriented career center. Prior to St. Olaf, Branden served as associate director of career services at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. At Tufts he worked closely with employers such as NATO, the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, Capitol Hill and the Central Intelligence Agency, supporting student career pathways in defense, energy, intelligence, politics, think tanks and trade. Branden has also held positions at Harvard University, Brill Neumann Associates, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and WorldTeach.
Branden received his Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Southern California, and his dissertation is titled “How Presidents and Provosts of Color at Predominantly White Institutions Navigate Their Universities.” He received his M.T.S. from Harvard University in theological studies, and his B.A. in music and religion from St. Olaf College. He is a member of NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), MPACE, the National Career Services Benchmarking Group, CLASIC (Consortium of Liberal Arts Schools and Independent Colleges), the Jesuit Career Consortium, and the LMU Black Faculty and Staff Association. Branden is chair of the board of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a national post-graduate service organization. He also serves on the board of Invertigo Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company.