Brian spent 12 years at Variety, one of the entertainment industry’s preeminent global entertainment news organizations, serving as the organization’s Publisher for almost half a decade. During his tenure, and in addition to his responsibilities managing a 100+ year old iconic Hollywood brand, he conceived of and launched Variety’s philanthropic efforts, which in just a 4-year span generated more than $6M in charitable contributions, benefitting more than 50 non-profit organizations.
Brian received the United Nations Foundation’s highest honor, the Global Leadership Award, for his role in mobilizing the entertainment industry to use its collective resources to support UN and UN Foundation-related campaigns. He served as host for the United Nation’s World Malaria Day at UN headquarters in New York City with the Secretary-General, and has been an active supporter of important UN events including World Humanitarian Day and International Day of Happiness. He also had the opportunity to spend time on the ground at Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, with the UN and the UNHCR, to experience first-hand the critical work being done by the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets malaria prevention campaign. He considers that experience a defining moment in his choice to anchor his life’s work in social-impact storytelling, and humanitarian endeavors.
In May 2022 he was the recipient of a special recognition from the Center for Disease Control and the CDC Foundation, for his efforts around rallying the creative community to support critical health issues facing Americans today, ranging from the CDC’s response to Covid-19 and the zika virus to its work with birth defects and developmental disabilities.
Brian serves as the Chief of Innovation & Media for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. EIF has been one of the most trusted and turned-to philanthropic institutions for the entertainment industry for more than 8 decades. EIF raises awareness and funds for critical health, educational and social issues by harnessing the collective power of the entertainment community. The organization has raised more than $1B in charitable contributions through its world-class philanthropic endeavors, including Stand Up 2 Cancer, Delivering Jobs and Defy Disaster.
In the spring of 2020 he produced ‘Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020’, in collaboration with Laurene Powell Jobs’ XQ Institute, LeBron James’ Springhill Entertainment and EIF. The purpose of the show was to recognize and honor the more than 3 million American high school graduates who would not be able to have their own graduation ceremonies due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The telecast presented commencement addresses from President Barack Obama & LeBron James, musical performances from artists including Alicia Keys, and the Jonas Bros, and words of inspiration from individuals such as Malala, Timotheé Chalamet and Zendaya. Graduate Together was a primetime, 1 hour, commercial-free “roadblock” broadcast. The show was aired simultaneously across 46 broadcast networks and digital platforms. The full 1-hour broadcast was watched by 21.8 million viewers (making it one of the most viewed special programming events of the 2020), and additional views of clips of the broadcast have been streamed more than 300,000,000 additional times. Brian earned a 2021 George Foster Peabody Award nomination for producing the telecast.
In the fall of 2022 he served as co-producer for ABC’s ‘Norman Lear: 100 Years of Magic and Laughter’, which in July 2023 received a primetime Emmy award nomination for outstanding variety special.
Brian is a partner at the entertainment company, Fezziwig Studios. Founded by 4X Emmy and Peabody- winning producer Dan Angel (Goosebumps, Haunting Hour, Door to Door), Fezziwig Studios is a full-service entertainment development, production and financing company committed to entertaining families with the highest quality movies and series. The company focuses on the acquisition and adaptation of popular book franchises, with projects in active production and development with partners such as Netflix, Warner Media and Sony Television. Fezziwig’s most recent film was ‘Rescued By Ruby’ for Netflix, released in March of 2022. The film is the true-life story of a dog adopted from a shelter that goes on to become the Humane Society’s K-9 dog of the year. The film received overwhelming critical and audience praise, and enjoys a 100% critics score (and 90% audience score) on Rotten Tomatoes. Next up is the film adaptation of the hugely popular young adult novel, ‘Out Of My Mind’, which recently wrapped for Disney+.
Brian launched and led the Burkle Global Impact Initiative at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations for 8 years. That program’s purpose was to work with the entertainment industry to engage more deeply with global social, humanitarian, and advocacy issues. The program provided access to resources, funding, partners and experts so that storytellers are better equipped to tell more fact-based stories, and educate their audiences on real-world issues. The program hosted global humanitarian figures including Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala, Oscar winners John Legend, Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron, philanthropists Melinda Gates and Ted Turner and entertainers Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez.
He is one of the founding members of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, a select group of individuals from various industries, convened by the UN Foundation to advise the United Nations and UN Foundation on how to accelerate their philanthropic efforts, and further the mission of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He also served on the host committee for the United Nations 70th anniversary.
Brian was a member of the Obama White House’s entertainment advisory council. He actively supported several White House pro-social endeavors, including “It’s On Us” (the ‘stop campus rape’ movement led by then-Vice President Biden), “Reach Higher” (First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to encourage youth to aspire to achieve higher education) and “My Brother’s Keeper” (President Obama’s inner-city youth empowerment campaign).
He has produced countless celebrity-driven PSAs for organizations, including those for the U.S. Government’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign, as well as the United Nation’s climate initiative efforts. In recognition of his contributions to “Let Girls Learn”, he joined then-President Obama and the First Lady at the White House to participate in the announcement of that Administration’s $250M funding of the effort. The initiative, spearheaded by Mrs. Obama, and implemented by USAID and the Peace Corps, provided access to education for girls globally.
He serves as a global ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, whose purpose is to educate, prevent and ultimately eradicate HIV/AIDS globally. He proudly joins ETAF’s ambassadors, including Colin Farrell, Whoopi Goldberg, Paris Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor’s grandchildren, to continue the advocacy work started by Dame Elizabeth Taylor in 1991.
Brian is a global board member for Whole Child International. Founded by Countess Karen Spencer in 2004, WCI’s mission is to elevate the quality of childcare worldwide. Whole Child focuses on improving the care for the world’s most vulnerable children – those in institutions and orphanages, by working directly with national governments and major universities to implement a unified strategy across a nation’s childcare system.
He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, founded by Oscar- winning director Steven Spielberg. The Starlight Children’s Foundation is one of the world’s largest youth health-focused non-profits, and touches the lives of more than 4 million children around the world annually. Starlight provides moments of happiness to critical, chronic and terminally ill children, so that they can forgot for a few moments out of their day that they are fighting illness.
He is a member of the Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences (ATAS), and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).