Brenda Barry

Director of Corporate Relations

Brenda Barry joined the University of Arizona in January of 2023 as the Director of Corporate Relations for the College of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. 

Brenda has over 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development and education reform, particularly in developing strategic public/private partnerships between education and industry. Prior to joining UA, Brenda held multiple leadership positions with The National Academy Foundation over 12 years. She served as the Director, Academy of Engineering leading the organization’s efforts in the programmatic development and expansion of the Academy of Engineering. In 2011, she was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Academy Development, overseeing network growth and service delivery to over 650 academies across the nation serving over 80,000 students. In January of 2016, Brenda was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Engagement and Relations and in March 2018 was elevated to the role of Chief Program Officer. 

Brenda also owned a national consulting firm specializing in education reform, workforce preparation, and economic development. The firm, CMR Ventures, Inc., provided direct services to clients including strategic planning facilitation, whole school reform, research and evaluation and direct support to school districts and intermediary organizations. CMR Ventures, Inc. provided services with a focus on career development for underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged populations. 

From 1994 – 2002, Brenda served as Executive Director of LEED-Sacramento (Linking Education & Economic Development), a nonprofit organization managing regional workforce preparation and development. During her time at LEED, Brenda launched the e21 Students First Initiative, a dramatic urban district high school improvement effort funded by the Carnegie and Gates Foundations. She also served on the California School-to-Career Governor's Task Force, Educational Issues & Practices Committee; Far West States Skill Standards Consortium, Executive Committee; and the California Association of Leaders for Career Preparation Board. She was a founding member of the National Employer Leadership Council and the National Intermediary Network.