Press Release

ATD Recognizes Brené Brown With Its Champion of Talent Development Award


(Alexandria, VA), July 21, 2020—During a virtual awards recognition celebration, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) recognized organizations and individuals for their excellence and contributions across the talent development field.

This year’s winner of the Champion of Talent Development Award is Brené Brown. This award is presented to an individual outside the profession whose commitment, advocacy, and actions in support of talent development within or outside an organization have influenced audiences, organizations, or society.

As a researcher and bestselling author, Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. She is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection; Daring Greatly; Rising Strong; Braving the Wilderness; and her latest book Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.

During the Association for Talent Development 2016 International Conference & EXPO, where Brown was a keynote speaker, she characterized the talent development profession in this way: “We’re in the business of people.” She added, “And if we’re really going to reignite innovation and passion, we have to rehumanize the way we work and the way we learn.”


Brown is a professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation—Brené Brown Endowed Chair at the Graduate College of Social Work. She is also a visiting professor in management at University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. She hosts the Unlocking Us podcast, and her TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, is one of the top five most viewed TED Talks in the world with more than 45 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019.


A complete list of award winners can be found on the ATD website.

About ATD
The Association for Talent Development (ATD), formerly the American Society of Training and Development, is the world’s largest association dedicated to those who develop talent in organizations. These professionals help others achieve their full potential by improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities. ATD’s members come from more than 120 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports the work of professionals locally in more than 100 chapters, international strategic partners, and global member networks.

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