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Brett Bruen

Former U.S. Diplomat & Director of Global Engagement at the White House

We live in uncertain times. Especially for companies, it has never been more difficult to navigate the changes, challenges, and to create new opportunities around the world. From cyber security to terrorism, threats appear around every corner. By sharing the latest skills and strategies for businesses to respond to these risks, Brett Bruen can help make the world an easier place to understand and operate in. During twelve years as a U.S. diplomat, Brett became a specialist in using strategic communications to influence the course of crisis and conflict. As Director of Global Engagement at the White House, he was responsible for public diplomacy programs, international media, crisis communications, and global entrepreneurship. He is now a leading expert on counter-crisis management theory, a term he coined during his time on the U.S. National Security Council.

Washington, D.C., USA

Presentations

How to Enhance Canada’s Global Leadership in the Age of Extremism
Canada’s global leadership is essential to getting beyond extremism.  Yet, too often the country’s voice isn’t heard in key conversations around the world.  Former White House Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen talks about ways that it can elevate and enhance it’s message and the means for delivering it at this critical moment in history.  Bruen has been outspoken about what he sees missing from current efforts to counter ISIS and other groups.  He believes winning the battle of ideas with extremists requires us to show not only what we are against, but what we stand for – and there is no better example than Canada.  He will lay out how through public diplomacy, the country and its citizens can play the key role in driving a debate about values and a vision for a more positive future for all people around the world.

A Young Person’s Guide to Changing the World
Going on a dangerous road trip across rebel territory in the search for peace. Battling insurgents with books on the streets of Tikrit. Briefing the President in the Situation Room. Before 35, Brett not only saw the world, he made an impact on some of its most intractable issues. Along the way, he picked up a few useful insights and ideas for millennials who want to make a real difference in the world. Bruen know the potential a young person has and he works to educate audiences of all ages and inspire the next generation.

Reducing Business Risk: Counter-Crisis Strategies
With the new types of crisis surfacing in today’s world, there is a new type of crisis response. Counter-crisis management (CCM) theory was developed by Brett Bruen, while serving on the U.S. National Security Council. Facing two civil wars in Africa, a new conflict in Ukraine, and the emergence of ISIS, Bruen began to develop a new strategy for the U.S. Government to use when planning for global problems. CCM enables companies and organizations to identify their vulnerabilities early and develop reputational countermeasures that can be immediately deployed in the event of an incident. In an age of increasing uncertainty, these skills and strategies, Bruen explains, will prepare your business to take on the unexpected.

A Diplomat’s Guide to Networking & Negotiating
Learn some of the most sophisticated tradecraft and tactics for building and managing relationships. From finding and forging key relationships to assessing information and interests, Bruen shows audiences how to more effectively develop and draw on their contacts, through lessons he learned in the world of diplomacy. Understand how to overcome differences. Pick up pointers on persuasion. Acquire the ability to analyze meaning behind the words and actions of individuals. Learn from Brett Bruen, the key qualities it takes to jumpstart a competitive, effective career.

What Americans Won’t Tell You About America
Though the world is more connected than ever, many elements of the United States remain a mystery to most foreigners. From the polarization of our politics to our insatiable desire to innovate, America can be hard to understand from the outside. Former US Diplomat and Director of Global Engagement at the White House, Brett Bruen, offers exceptional insight into the influences, interests, and ideas that drive the world’s most powerful country. Bruen looks ahead, as well, to what likely comes next for the United States and the impact it will have on the global community.

Summary Profile

Going on a road trip across rebel territory in the search for peace. Creatively confronting coup leaders about their human rights record. Battling insurgents with books on the streets of Tikrit. Briefing the President in the Situation Room.

Before 35, Brett not only saw the world, he made an impact on some of its most intractable issues. During twelve years as a U.S. diplomat, Brett became a specialist in using strategic communications to influence the course of crisis and conflict. As Director of Global Engagement at the White House, he created some of the government’s most innovative international programs for reaching new audiences around the world.

While at the White House, Brett coordinated the United States’ response to Russian propaganda, developing the first interagency communications taskforce to push back against their misinformation machine. When more than 200 school girls were kidnapped in Nigeria, Brett created a new campaign called Let Girls Learn that featured top celebrities. He also built the President’s Spark Global Entrepreneurship initiative that has raised billions for emerging entrepreneurs around the world.

While in the diplomatic service, Brett worked in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Iraq, Venezuela, Argentina, Zambia, and Eritrea. In his current role as President of the Global Situation Room, he runs a consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, international market research, and risk management. He serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Federal Executive Institute, where he trains senior U.S. Government leaders on strategy and world affairs. Brett has spoken at numerous international conferences and at top universities, including Harvard, UCLA, and Drake. He is regularly interviewed by major international media outlets on world events and is a Market Expert contributor to Business.com. Brett graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a Masters in Global History from the London School of Economics. Brett speaks fluent Spanish and French.