Timothy Brown Bio -- August 2019

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 managed 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 a strategic necessity.  Opportunities for a new approach to global philanthropy emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s as the global economy began a historic expansion that created great personal fortunes in the Asian Pacific Rim and emerging economies everywhere.

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 and building 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).  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 expanded the university’s international profile through 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.

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 help restore AUB as a first-class medical research and clinical center in the Arab Middle East after the devastating Lebanese civil war (1974-1991).  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 the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.  As Managing Director, Asia within Alumni Affairs and Development 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.  At Harvard College Tim advises first-year students as a member of the Board of Freshman Advisors (BFA).  He is affiliated with Kirkland House, one of twelve undergraduate residences.  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 Professor Bill Alford, the Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law, 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 in Somerville Massachusetts, within walking distance to Harvard Square.  Their twins Oliver and Emma are currently undergraduate students at Wheaton College in Norton MA and Bennington College in VT.  The family 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.