An Alumna Connecting Alumni

Breanne Williamson

Photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

Breanne (Saenz) Williamson is not new to RAND—she’s a second-generation RAND alumna. She joined RAND’s Office of Development four years ago, but recently moved into the newly created position of Alumni Giving and Alumni Relations Manager.

In this Q&A, she describes her new role as a “connector, liaison, and facilitator.”

What brought you to RAND?

Before joining RAND, I was the Director of Marketing for a law firm and was responsible for developing, implementing, and executing strategic marketing plans. However, four years ago I decided to follow my passion for work in the nonprofit sector. My goal was to find an organization that I connected with, with a mission I could get behind. RAND was that place for me!

How did you learn about RAND?

My deep-rooted respect for RAND goes beyond professional admiration. RAND has been in my life for as long as I can remember, and I may owe my existence to RAND. Both of my parents worked here. My dad worked at RAND for 45 years and my mom did two tours at RAND. They met here and got married. Growing up, I often visited the office, and I remember the staff fondly; many of my parents’ colleagues became our extended family. Just when you think the connection couldn’t get any deeper, my husband’s father also worked here! My husband and I often joke that we probably met as children at the ice cream socials or on the camping trips.

What does your job entail?

I view my job as a connector, liaison, and facilitator. My desire is to provide platforms and opportunities for alumni to engage with each other and stay connected to RAND and Pardee RAND. Whether you’re at RAND for one year or for 50 years, we are all linked together by our time working here. We build relationships that extend beyond RAND’s walls and transcend geography, ethnicity, and political affiliation. I want to help celebrate these connections as well as build new relationships among alumni.

I see my annual giving role similarly. When individuals choose to donate their hard-earned money to RAND and Pardee RAND, my goal is to help them find the right area to support so they feel connected to the impact of their donation.

What are you hoping to accomplish?

I have many aspirations, but this year I’m focused on getting to know our alumni and increasing engagement and volunteer opportunities. Meeting our $125,000 goal for the Alumni Impact Fund (AIF) is also a priority. The AIF is near and dear to my heart because it’s a fundraising initiative to support our colleagues. I’m inspired each year to see our community unite around a shared goal—support for the AIF comes almost exclusively from members of the RAND family. Every donation, regardless of size, makes a difference and helps us meet our goal of increasing the impact of our colleagues’ work.

How can alumni help?

I look forward to getting to know each of you personally and professionally. Please send me your questions, concerns, or comments via email at Hearing from you will make my day!