By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 25, 2023 at 1:01 PM

Alverno College’s Board of Trustees unanimously selected Milwaukee native and local executive Christy L. Brown, J.D. as the College’s ninth president. She succeeds Sister Andrea Lee, IHM, Ph.D. who ended her service in June 2022.

Brown served as Chief Executive Officer for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast (GSWISE) since 2012. With more than 17,000 members, GSWISE provides programming in seven area counties designed to build girls of courage, confidence and character.

“I see a comparable goal in Alverno’s mission to prepare women for personal and professional distinction and meaningful engagement with the world,” Brown said. “To lead Alverno College – embracing its unique identity, Franciscan values, dedication to women’s education and commitment to social justice, inclusion and equity – will be a privilege and extraordinary opportunity to continue to impact the city from which I come.”

Brown starts her term on Wednesday, July 5. Her inauguration ceremony is planned for next spring as part of Alverno’s annual Founders Day Celebration programming. 

Prior to joining GSWISE, Brown served as Vice Chancellor, Finance and Administrative Affairs, at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2007 to 2012 and as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Milwaukee Area Technical College from 2002 to 2007. She also served as Vice President, South East Region and Corporate Counsel, for Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan from 1997 to 2002, and as an Associate Attorney with Michael Best & Friedrich from 1994 to 1997.

Like many Alverno students, Brown was a first-generation college student. She graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1987. With a passion for learning and scholarly achievement, she then pursued a joint-degree graduate program earning in 1994 both her Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law and a Master of Arts in Humanities with a focus on African American History and Women’s Studies from Duke University Graduate School.

“Christy brings to Alverno a unique mix of higher education and mission-driven expertise focused on girls and young women’s leadership development,” said Katherine M. Hudson, Chair of Alverno’s Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee Co-Chair. “She is a dynamic, inspirational and transformational leader with more than two decades of results advancing organizational mission, vision and values while achieving unprecedented operational outcomes.”

Brown is a member of The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Board of Trustees and the Duke Law Alumnae Leadership Council, which is a select group of women graduates who advise on issues that impact women students and alumnae. She has also held leadership and membership roles at several other state and local organizations, including serving as past member of the Carroll University Board of Trustees and as a past appointee of the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board.

Brown has received numerous awards and honors including the TEMPO Mentor Award, the Fund Women of Distinction award.

“Known both locally and nationally as a passionate advocate for girls and women, we can’t wait to welcome Christy to Alverno,” Hudson said. “We look forward Christy’s visionary and strategic leadership.”

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.