I am passionate about: the ingenuity and creativity of humans to harness natural systems to produce food, fiber and fuels
What excites me about being a professor at MIIS: I was drawn to MIIS as a student for its international and interdisciplinary approach to building the human capital needed to make the world a better place. The opportunity to stay connected to highly motivated and passionate students and faculty, and contribute to real solutions, has kept me coming back as a professor.
Brett has more than 15 years of experience supporting the success of farmers, leading non profit organizations that serve farmers, and developing and advocating for sustainable agriculture policy at the local, state and national levels.
Brett has extensive non-profit management experience and has spent several years living and working in Latin America. Most recently he served as Executive Director of Friends of MarViva Foundation, leading resource and partnership development in the U.S. to support ocean conservation and sustainability of coastal communities in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Region.
During the period 2002-2011 he served as Executive Director of ALBA, Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association in Salinas, California. ALBA is a small farm business incubator that targets immigrant farm workers in the nation’s “Salad Bowl,” and supports their pursuit of economic independence and positive contributions to the environment and community as organic farmers.
Brett also served stints as Executive Director of Centro de Educación y Tecnología del Sur Chile, Project Officer at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, Chile, and Rotary Foundation Vocational Scholar at Tierra Viva Agricultores Orgánicos de Chile. He was the recipient of the Knauss Graduate Sea Grant Fellowship, where he served as Graduate Fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds.
Brett currently serves on the Board of Directors of Feed the Hunger Foundation, and the Advisory Council of SAGE, Sustainable Agriculture Education. He previously served on the Board of Directors of California FarmLink and the Organizational Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Sustainable and organic agriculture, small farm incubators and marine conservation
Additional Areas of Focus
Sustainable fisheries, economic development, microlending and nonprofit management
B.A. International Relations, Business and Spanish, University of San Diego
M.A. International Environmental Policy, Monterey Institute of International Studies
Selected Publications / Research
"In the Fields of Salinas: Cultivating Intercultural Leadership," Whole Thinking Journal, No. 6, Winter 2010-11.
Grassroots Guide to the Farm Bill, Editor, Spanish, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, 2011.
Farmer Education Program Curriculum Resource Guide, ALBA, 2011.
Farm Incubator Toolkit, ALBA, 2011.
Farming for the Future – Contributor, Editor and Translator for ALBA’s quarterly print newsletter.
Organic Agriculture Education, Crop Management, September 2006.
Local Agenda 21 in Latin America: An Analytical Look at 10 Cases, ICLEI, 2000. (collaborator)
Tribal Wetland Program Highlights, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000.