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KIRSTEN BRINLEE

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BALTIMORE COLLEGETOWN NETWORK

29As president of the Baltimore Collegetown Network, Kirsten Brinlee runs a consortium of 13 colleges in the Baltimore area with a total of some 120,000 students.

She was assistant director for nearly two years before taking over as executive director in February 2018. Brinlee holds a bachelor’s in psychology and history from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in public administration from the University of North Texas.

What is the most important thing you do in your job?
I find common ground among 13 unique colleges and universities, two local governments and countless partners. Bringing these different and sometimes competing organizations together to develop programs and services that benefit all and raise the profile of Baltimore as a great college town defines who we are at Baltimore Collegetown. This work also describes the work I enjoy doing the most.

Who was your most significant mentor and what did you learn from that person?
Kristen McGuire taught me how to do collaborative partnership work well and with tremendous kindness. She has continued to mentor me after her time at Baltimore Collegetown and inspires my work.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t in higher education, I’d like to be doing something creative, collaborative and with and around people. I’d love to own a store that sells beautiful things — flowers, plants, art, gifts, makeup, candies, etc. I’d also want to have a yoga studio where I could teach and a chef’s table where I could host dinner parties with interesting people.