Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D.

Picture of Brenda J. Allen

Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, University of Colorado


Brenda J. Allen (Ph.D., Howard University) is a former Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion and Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver and the Anschutz Medical Campus. She has developed a track record for leadership, scholarship, teaching, service, mentorship, and training related to organizational communication, social identity, and power. She has worked tirelessly to promote more inclusive, humane, and equitable communication and professional practices. Among Dr. Allen’s numerous publications is a groundbreaking book entitled Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity (Waveland Press). She is working on the third edition of that book.

Dr. Allen offers workshops, consultations, facilitations, and keynote speeches on topics such as inclusive leadership, cultivating inclusion in the workplace, strategic planning, implicit bias, and diversity recruitment/retention practices. She has earned a variety of accolades for her accomplishments and contributions, including: the Francine Merritt Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women and the Carroll C. Arnold Distinguished Lectureship (National Communication Association); Master Teacher Award (Western States Communication Association); the Leadership in Public Higher Education Award (Colorado), and CU Denver’s first Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement for Commitment to Diversity. As a testament to her impact, Dr. Allen’s colleagues at CU Denver established a diversity and inclusion scholarship and leadership award in her name.