Timothy Brown Bio -- August 2017

Over thirty-five years at six major universities on two continents Tim has worked to advance higher education on a global scale.  In the early 1980s after a decade in the performing arts, Tim pursued a life-long passion in world affairs and culture that was rooted in childhood experiences living in France and the Middle East.  Finding his métier in international higher education and cultural exchange, Tim dove head first into managing university study abroad and scholarly exchange programs.  However, shackled by limited resources, Tim was among the first in higher education to recognize systematic international fundraising had become not only a strategic necessity, but a possibility.  Indeed, opportunities for a new approach to global philanthropy began to emerge in the late 1980s and 1990s as the world economy began a historic transformation creating individual wealth in China, East-Asia and the Middle East followed by a wave of first generation philanthropists with a universal agenda.

After earning a bachelor’s degree (1979) in The Arts at the State University of New York’s Empire State College, Tim moved to Washington where he earned a master’s degree in International Relations at The American University (1982).  In 1980, Tim received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship working with the federal agency on the arts and public diplomacy while finishing a master’s thesis “Canadian Cultural Nationalism: A Historical Study of Economic and Political Protectionism.” 

Before establishing the first office of international admissions at The American University (TAU) in 1984 that built a pipeline of foreign students from the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, Tim served as an advisor to the Ministry of Education of Kuwait working on a government funded scholarship program supporting Kuwaiti students studying in North American institutions of higher education. 

From 1987 until 1991, Tim pursued a doctorate in higher education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (GSE) to examine his interest in the influence of the academy on ideology among foreign policy elites.  His dissertation “Initiating Professional Education in International Affairs: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy 1923-1943” supervised by professors Nathan Glazer, Arthur Levine and Paul Ylvisaker studied the origins of professional education in international diplomacy.While at Harvard Tim worked with the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) for development economists Dwight Perkins (Harvard PhD’64), Joseph Stern (Harvard PhD’68) and John Thomas (Harvard PhD’69) co-managing a professional workshop on publicly owned enterprise involving an international faculty and student body.

In 1991, with a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy (APSP) Tim was appointed by President Humphrey Tonkin (Harvard PhD’66) to serve as special assistant to the president at the University of Hartford where he built the university’s international profile through a series of student and faculty exchange programs with universities in the Middle East and East Asia.  In addition, Tim taught an undergraduate course in American Studies broadly focusing on U.S. culture, politics and foreign policy, in the post WWII era.

After a three year stint at the University of Maryland, College Park working through the Institute for Global Chinese Affairs, from 2000-2002 Tim lived in Lebanon working at the American University of Beirut (AUB) with the Dean of Medicine to identify sources of funding necessary to restore AUB as a first-class medical research and clinical center in the Arab Middle East in a post-civil war environment.  Before coming to Harvard in 2009, Tim directed the fund-raising effort for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, a joint venture involving Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University.

Currently at Harvard Tim is part of a team representing fundraising priorities established by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  As Managing Director, Asia for Campaign Priorities and Initiatives in the third year of the five year Harvard Campaign for the Arts and Sciences ending June 2018 Tim is responsible for nurturing relationships among alumni communities from Seoul to Singapore. 

Tim believes to represent an institution effectively and create communities of alumni in distant lands requires full immersion in the life of the institution or cause.  At a large multi-dimensional university like Harvard there are many ways to engage.  Each year Tim advises freshman as a member of the Board of Freshman Advisors (BFA).  He is affiliated with Kirkland House, one of twelve residences for undergraduates.  The Senior Common Room at Kirkland hosts a variety of programs chiefly for seniors and offers opportunities to engage members with the student community.  Beyond the BFA and Kirkland House, starting in the 2015-2016 season Tim joined Henry L. Stinson Professor of Law, Bill Alford, as Faculty Fellows on the varsity men’s ice hockey team offering individual advice and academic support to team members.  Together they develop programs designed to integrate student athletes with the intellectually diverse college community and the world of service beyond campus.

Tim and his veterinarian wife Margaret McCarthy, reside with their teenage twins Emma and Oliver in Somerville Massachusetts, within walking distance to Harvard Square.  They spend as much time as possible at their camp on the shores of Pemaquid Pond on Maine’s mid-coast while enjoying life in the nation’s preeminent college town.