Brian Arao

Transformative Educator | Diversity and Equity Strategist | Leadership Coach | Executive Advisor | Amateur Plant-Based Chef | Powerlifting Yogi | Professional Comic Book Geek
Dr. Brian Arao (he/him/his) is an innovative and passionate educator who excels at helping others grow more fully into their potential. Brian pursued this calling for nearly 23 years in the field of student affairs in higher education, leading transformative equity-focused change in residential education, student conduct, student activities, student government, basic needs programs, non-clinical case management, advising student-run organizations, and social justice education. Now, as President and co-founder of Brave Space Leadership, he consults privately as a diversity and equity strategist, educator, and professional certified diversity coach for colleges, universities, and both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Brian was drawn to coaching as an inherently anti-deficit approach to facilitating deep, transformative, and empowering learning. As a coach, he does not counsel or provide advice, but instead partners with clients to recognize and better understand the wisdom they possess, use it to identify what matters most to them, and create concrete plans for actualizing their goals.
Brian is a Professional Certified Diversity Coach with CoachDiversity Institute and a member of the International Coaching Federation. He also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, a Master’s in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. Brian also has a Doctorate in International and Multicultural Education with an emphasis in human rights education from the University of San Francisco.
Brian resides in Sacramento, CA, the current and ancestral homelands of the Nisenan, Maidu, Miwok, and Me-Wuk peoples.