Brenda J. Allen PhD

Brenda J. Allen
Professor Emerita
Department of Communication

Mailing Address:
Department of Communication
Campus Box 176
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1380 Lawrence Street
Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80204

Retired May 2019

PhD, Organizational Communication, Howard University, 1989 
MA, Organizational Communication, Howard University, 1976 
BA, Speech Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, 1972

Brenda J. Allen retired in April 2019 as the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus. During almost 30 years in the University of Colorado system, Professor Allen developed a track record for scholarship, teaching, service, mentorship, and training related to organizational communication, social identity, and leadership, with an emphasis on higher education.

Dr. Allen was recruited from Howard University to the University of Colorado Boulder in 1989 as an Assistant Professor of Communication. After earning tenure and promotion, she moved to CU Denver, where she was promoted to Professor. There, she served in various leadership roles, including Chair of the Department of Communication, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Master Mentor at CU Denver. In 2012, she became Chief Diversity Officer for CU Denver and CU Anschutz.

Among Dr. Allen’s numerous publications is a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity. She currently is developing a global online course on inclusive leadership.

Dr. Allen offers highly-rated workshops, consultations, facilitations, and keynote speeches on topics such as inclusive leadership, racial equity, strategic planning, empowHERment, and diversity recruitment/retention practices. She has received numerous accolades, including: the first Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement for Commitment to Diversity at CU Denver; the Women in Leadership and Management Award (named in honor of Wilma J. Webb, former legislator and Denver's first African-American first lady); the first Annual Ally of the Year Award from the GLBT Alliance at CU Boulder; and, a Leadership in Public Higher Education Award. As a testament to Dr. Allen’s impact, her colleagues at CU Denver established a diversity and inclusion scholarship and leadership award in her name.

Expertise Areas: Organizational communication, diversity, inclusion in the workplace, strategic planning, unconscious bias, and diversity hiring practices.