Ed.D. Alumni Profile: Joel Brown

This EdD program pushed me to grow and evolve. Completing my doctoral research at Saint Mary’s, What does it mean to be gay? An examination of the cultural values of gay men, led me to recognize the importance of using scholarship and research in advocating for marginalized communities. I am better able to support progressive causes and to give voice to the most vulnerable segments of society.

Joel Brown, EdD alum from Saint Mary's College of CA.I am the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos LLC, a management consultant and coaching firm whose mission is to cultivate inclusive environments and inclusive leaders. We focus on organizational strategy, leadership, innovation, and cultural intelligence. I formed Pneumos LLC in 2005 to create the type of workplace environment that I did not experience as a corporate professional: a place where people could be affirmed and honored for their expertise, ambition, and diverse cultural experience. I believe that any global issue can be resolved if we create equitable opportunities to leverage the brilliance of every stakeholder in our community. We think both globally and locally.

As a law school graduate, I already had a J.D. (Doctor of Law), and was uninterested in another doctoral degree. However, I also felt I was on "cruise control." This sense of complacency led me to look for something that would help me grow and expand my thinking.  I've always believed that "what you're looking for in the universe is also looking for you." Saint Mary's was the experience that I was searching for that, in turn, was also searching for me. I found community here and an uncommon sense of belonging.  

Joel Brown EdD alum about to present.Completing my doctoral research at Saint Mary’s, What does it mean to be gay? An examination of the cultural values of gay men, not only expanded my level of scholarship, but led me to recognize the importance of using scholarship and research in advocating for marginalized communities. As I became more self-aware, I increasingly realized how old ways of thinking had prevented me from accomplishing that core objective. This program pushed me to grow and evolve. In more fully claiming my power, I feel I am better able to support important progressive causes and to give voice to the most vulnerable segments of society.

This doctoral journey has helped to strengthen my resolve and clarify my purpose. Someone asked me recently: who's your favorite superhero?  I can now say confidently...that superhero is me.