Brad Englert (MPAff '84) endows a fellowship for LBJ students | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

The Mr. and Mrs. Bradley G. Englert Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Public Affairs is designed to help students attend the LBJ School and pursue their passions without worry of financial burden.

Brad Englert (MPAff '84) is an author, adviser and technologist, and the founder of Brad Englert Advisory, a company he created after serving for seven years as the Chief Information Officer of The University of Texas at Austin and 22 years at Accenture, including 10 years as a partner. He has played an integral role in helping UT and other institutions of higher education, state governments and private-sector companies implement strategic IT plans and systems. Englert and his wife, attorney Corliss Hudson Englert (MPA '86, J.D. '89) have generously endowed a fellowship for students at the LBJ School.

Englert talked about his experience at LBJ, his career and the "secret sauce" that is the LBJ alumni network in the Q&A below.

LBJ: Tell us about your LBJ School experience. What years were you at LBJ? What was your policy area of focus?

Englert: As a part-time student at the LBJ School, it took me three years to graduate. The good news is that I am fortunate to celebrate reunions with my entering class of 1983 and my graduation class of 1984. In 1981, my full-time job was at the Internal Revenue Service. I worked business tax cases for two years and then became a GS-5 payroll manager. At the time of graduation, my role was GS-11 Labor Relations Specialist. IRS management enabled me to use vacation time to attend classes during the day, and my Professional Report focused on the burgeoning Information Technology (IT) industry. An alumna who worked at Texas Instruments reviewed my resume, and an alumnus at Arthur Andersen & Co. invited me to a series of interviews. I joined the Management Information Consulting Division in July 1984.

What was your most treasured memory from your time at LBJ?

Englert: Classes with successful, real-world practitioners: Barbara Jordan; Dagmar Hamilton (U.S. Justice Department); Wilbur Cohen (secretary of health, education and welfare); Ray Marshall (secretary of labor); Elspeth Rostow (presidential advisor, LBJ School dean); Max Sherman (Texas state senator, LBJ School Dean); and John Gronouski (postmaster general, ambassador to Poland, first LBJ School dean). They all were very successful in the public service arena and they taught us the importance of effective, proactive and pragmatic leadership.

What's one skill you learned at the LBJ School that you still use in your professional career today?

Englert: Mastering the written word —always a work in progress.

Tell us about your professional journey after you left the LBJ School.

Englert: Arthur Andersen & Co. developed my technical, managerial and executive skills to be a successful equity partner focused on building our USA higher education practice. Enjoyed collaborating with clients at The Ohio State University, Columbia University, Vanderbilt University, the University of Illinois System, the University of Maryland System, The University of Texas System, the University of California Sate System, and even Texas A&M.

After 22 years with Arthur Andersen & Co, a.k.a. Andersen Consulting, a.k.a. Accenture, my first retirement beckoned. Two years later, The University of Texas at Austin leadership team asked me to help create their first-ever IT strategy. Afterward, I served for seven years as the chief information officer and implemented the IT strategy that led to multiple cloud-based IT services, which served the university well during the pandemic. After my second retirement, I have been doing a little IT consulting and am focused on writing a book on the importance of effective business relationships.

LBJ: What inspired you to give back to the LBJ School and create a fellowship endowment?

Englert: My fun, 30-year career in IT would not have been possible without earning a master's degree in public affairs from the LBJ School at UT Austin. Tuition was lower in the 1980s, when 40% of the university's budget was funded by the Texas Legislature. Now the state of Texas funds about 13% of the university's budget, which has resulted in dramatically increased tuition. Our fellowship helps students soften this financial burden. My wife of 34 years, Corliss Hudson Englert, is very supportive of our LBJ School graduate fellowship. She has a Master of Professional Accounting from McCombs and a J.D. from UT Austin's Law School.

LBJ: What advice would you give current students as they prepare to graduate and go out into the policy arena?

Englert: Reach out to LBJ School alumni who are working in the same field. Build long-term relationships with them. This is much more than transactional "networking." In my experience our alumni jump at opportunities to help you. This willingness to help is our secret sauce.