Brené Brown

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Brené Brown
Brené Brown
Brown in 2012
BornCasandra Brené Brown
(1965-11-18) November 18, 1965 (age 54)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
OccupationResearcher, author, public speaker, social worker
NationalityUnited States
SubjectSocial work
Steve Alley
(m. 1994)

Casandra Brené Brown (born November 18, 1965)[1] is an American professor, lecturer, author, and podcast host. Brown holds the Huffington Foundation's Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work and is a visiting professor in management at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Early life and education[edit]

Casandra Brené Brown was born in 1965 in San Antonio, Texas, where her parents, Charles Arthur Brown and Casandra Deanne Rogers,[1] baptized her in the Episcopal church. When her family moved to New Orleans,[2] they brought her up as a Catholic.[3] She left the Catholic Church and returned to the Episcopalian community with her husband, Steve Alley, and their two children two decades later. The family now lives in Houston.[4] She completed a BSW at the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, followed by a MSW in 1996[5] and a PhD in social work at the University of Houston in 2002.[6]


Brown has spent decades studying the topics of courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She is, to date, the author of the five #1 New York Times bestsellers, namely The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead. Brené hosts the Unlocking Us and Dare to Lead podcasts. Her TED talk, "The Power of Vulnerability", has been widely viewed.[7][8][9] Her filmed lecture, Brené Brown: The Call to Courage, debuted on Netflix in 2019.

Brown has spent her research career as a professor at her alma mater, the University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work.[10] With research focused on the themes of authentic leadership and wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations, she has presented a 2012 TED talk and two 2010 TEDx talks.[11][12] In March 2013, she talked with Oprah Winfrey on Super Soul Sunday about her book, Daring Greatly.[13] Brown says she drew the title of that book from a 1910 Theodore Roosevelt speech "Citizenship in a Republic", given at the Sorbonne.[14] Brown is CEO of "The Daring Way," a professional training and certification program on the topics of vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.[15]

Selected works[edit]

  • "Feminist Standpoint Theory" and "Shame Resilience Theory". In S. P. Robbins, P. Chatterjee & E. R. Canda (Eds.), Contemporary human behavior theory: A Critical Perspective for Social Work. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 560 pp. ISBN 978-0134779263 Published 2007.
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy and Power. Avery. 336 pp. ISBN 978-1592403356 (2007)
  • Connections: A 12-Session Psychoeducational Shame-Resilience Curriculum. Center City, MN: Hazelden. ISBN 978-1592857425 (2009)
  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. Center City, MN: Hazelden. 160 pp. ISBN 978-1592858491 (2010)
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. New York City: Gotham. 320 pp. ISBN 978-1592408412 (2012)
  • Rising Strong: The Reckoning, the Rumble, the Revolution. Spiegel & Grau, now Random House. 352 pp. ISBN 978-0812985801 (2015)
  • Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. Random House. 208 pp. ISBN 978-0812985818 (2017)
  • Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. Random House. 320 pp. ISBN 978-0399592522 (2018)
  • The Gifts of Imperfection (10th Anniversary Edition). 256 pp. ISBN 0593133587 (2020)

Honours and awards[edit]

In 2009 Houston Woman Magazine voted Brown one of the city's most influential women.[16] She has also received teaching awards, including the Graduate College of Social Work's Outstanding Faculty Award.[17] In 2016 the Huffington Foundation pledged $2 million over four years to endow a research chair in her name at the Graduate College of Social Work, where she guides the training of social work students in grounded theory methodology and in her research into vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy.[18]


  1. ^ a b Texas Birth Index (2002). "U.S. Public Records Index". Family Search. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Brown, Brené (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-59285-849-1.
  3. ^ Lisa Capretto OWN (2015-10-16). "Why Brené Brown 'abandoned' the church - and why she went back". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
  4. ^ Elliott, Amber (2016-04-13). "Brené Brown surprises lunchgoers with generous donation". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  5. ^ "Brené Brown". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  6. ^ "How This Leadership Researcher Became the Secret Weapon for Oprah, Pixar, IBM, and Melinda Gates". 2018-09-19. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  7. ^ "Brené Brown TEDxHouston, The power of vulnerability". TED. 2010-06-01.
  8. ^ TED talk "Listening to shame" – Brené Brown. March 2012
  9. ^ "Brené Brown's Biography" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Tiptoeing Out of One's Comfort Zone (and of Course, Back In)". Interview with Brown, New York Times February 11, 2011.
  11. ^ "TEDxHouston - 2010 Speakers". Archived from the original on 2013-04-14. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  12. ^ "Dr. Brene Brown TEDxKC Aug 12 2010". Livestream. Archived from the original on 2013-11-04. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  13. ^ "Dr. Brené Brown on Daring Greatly". OWN. 2013-11-03.
  14. ^ Schawbel, Dan (2013-04-21). "Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better". Forbes. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  15. ^ "About - The Daring Way". Archived from the original on 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2016-09-20.
  16. ^ Houston's 50 Most Influential Women for 2009, Houston Women's Magazine Archived April 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Brene Brown". Hazeldon. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  18. ^ "Huffington Foundation Endows Chair for Brené Brown, Social Work Researcher, Author of 'Daring Greatly'". Retrieved 2016-09-20.

External links[edit]