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 undergraduate and 98% of graduate students from the Class of 2020 were employed, enrolled in graduate school, or pursuing post-graduate service within six months of graduation.
A frequent conference presenter and speaker, Branden specializes in inclusive leadership, implicit bias mitigation, and student career development. His expertise in DEI, employability, and COVID-19 careers has been highlighted by LMU, SoundCloud, ABC7, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Marketplace, and the Lawlor Review. 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 researched how Black, Latino/a, and Asian American presidents and provosts at predominantly white institutions navigated their universities in the era of #BlackLivesMatter. He received his M.T.S. from Harvard University in theological studies, and his B.A. in music and religion from St. Olaf College.
Branden is a member of AABHE (American Association of Blacks in Higher Education), 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 several LMU identity-based affinity groups, where he serves as the co-lead of the President’s Black Leadership Advisory Council and a member of the LGBTQ Faculty and Staff Network Council. Branden is chair of the board of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, a national post-graduate service organization. He also serves as the vice chair of the board of Invertigo Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles-based contemporary dance company.