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Neil Braun, Former NBC Television Network President and CEO of Viacom Entertainment, Named New Dean of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business
Highly respected in the media industry, Braun has been involved in multiple new business startups as both entrepreneur and investor. With his significant knowledge in the area of corporate environmental sustainability and the issues challenging public companies today, Braun will lead the more than century-old business school known for innovative programs and blending theory with practice.
NEW YORK, NY, June 24, 2010 – Neil S. Braun, who has more than 30 years of experience in senior management including positions as president of the NBC Television Network and CEO of Viacom Entertainment, has been appointed dean of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, effective July 1, announced Stephen J. Friedman, president of Pace University.
Braun, 57, will take the helm from Joseph R. Baczko, former president and CEO of Blockbuster Entertainment and founder of Toys “R” Us International, who is returning to private industry after five years in the position.
“As the new dean, Neil will add industry dimension and vision to Lubin’s expertise and innovative programs,” said Aniello A. Bianco, chairman of Pace’s Board of Trustees. “The hire of Braun is a bold, confident move infusing a 100-year institution founded as a business school with a 21st century pedigree. Consensus building and collaborative, he’ll be a very positive force for faculty, staff, students, and alumni.”
“Pace has hit a home run with the appointment of Neil Braun,” said Frank Biondi, former CEO of Universal Studios, Viacom, and HBO, who hired Braun both at HBO and Viacom. “He’s a world-class guy with impeccable credentials who leads by collaboration and clarity of thought.”
Braun is currently CEO of The CarbonNeutral Company, which assists companies in analyzing and reducing their carbon footprints (greenhouse gas emissions). CarbonNeutral has invested in more than 200 projects on six continents for more than 300 major corporate clients and 1,000 small business clients. The company combined with Braun’s start-up, The GreenLife Organization, in late 2008 in order to achieve a more significant global presence.
Braun’s experience with CarbonNeutral and The GreenLife Organization will serve him well when he joins Pace, which has a strong commitment to teaching and practicing sustainability and boasts one of the top environmental law programs in the country.
“I am excited to build upon the history of success at Pace,” said Braun. “Providing students with strong fundamentals in the business disciplines and the ability to nimbly apply them has never been more important. The emergence of the developing world, the proliferation of interactive and mobile media, and the scarcity of natural resources will continue to shape markets and competition. Preparing our students to be effective in a rapidly changing world is a tremendous responsibility and opportunity.”
Additional career highlights. Braun began his career as a corporate attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York (1977-1978).
As senior vice president and general counsel for International Film Investors (1978-1982), he structured and negotiated financing and distribution for feature films including Ghandi, The Killing Fields, Hopscotch, Escape from New York, and The Howling. He headed HBO’s film financing and home-video activities (1982-1986) and was part of the negotiating team for the licensing of pay-television rights from the studios. He also created Silver Screen Partners and HBO Video. As president and COO of Imagine Films Entertainment (1986-1988), he took the Ron Howard/Brian Grazer production company public while structuring financing and distribution for 30 feature films through Showtime and Universal Pictures.
In addition to serving as a senior executive in major public corporations such as NBC (1994-1998) and Viacom (1988-1994), Braun has been involved in venture stage companies.
With the producer of the Shrek computer-animated franchise, Braun formed Vanguard Animation (2002). He was named president, Feature Films and Television for IDT Entertainment, a division of the long-distance phone company, which was Vanguard’s primary funding partner (2005). When Liberty Media acquired IDT Entertainment the following year and merged it into its Starz Entertainment Group, Braun assumed the role of president, Distribution and Marketing of Starz Media, which included in its stable Film Roman, the longtime animator of Fox’s The Simpsons and King of the Hill.
Frank Biondi praised the work Braun did at HBO, “Neil restructured how we licensed films from independent producers by creating Silver Screen Partners and HBO Video, which significantly lowered our program acquisition cost. At Viacom, he had a wide scope of responsibility from real estate and human resources to the production and distribution of programming for broadcast networks and stations. Neil’s intellect, experience, and people skills are a great match for the challenges and opportunities facing business schools today.”
Braun serves on the board of directors, audit committee and compensation committee of IMAX Corporation, a NASDAQ company. He also serves on the board of directors and compensation committee of Share Our Strength, and the board of directors and executive committee of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center. He has been a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors since 2008.
Since 2000 Braun has been a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Overseers for the School of Arts and Sciences and, since 2008, the Trustee’s Social Responsibility Advisory Committee. He has also been a faculty lecturer at the Wharton School of Business on the topic “Economic Models of Media and Entertainment” (2001). Braun holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania (1974) and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School (1977) where he was a member of the Law Review.
Pace’s Lubin School of Business enrolls nearly 4,000 students. Lubin boasts a number of graduates who have gone on to become major industry leaders.
About Pace University: For more than 100 years, Pace University has been preparing students to become leaders in their fields. A private university, Pace provides an education that combines exceptional academics with professional experience and the New York advantage. Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, and enrolls almost 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu