Brad Carson

Brad Carson

President, University of Tulsa; former Congressman and United States Under Secretary of the Army


Brad Carson is The University of Tulsa’s 21st president. Having built a distinguished career in public service, law and education, before becoming president of TU, Carson was a professor at the University of Virginia, teaching courses related to national security and public sector innovation. He also served as a senior advisor at Boston Consulting Group. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Carson acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness at the U.S. Department of Defense. There, he oversaw the human resources, military readiness, education, training and health care of the nearly 5 million service members, civilian employees and their dependents within the Department of Defense and managed an internal organization of 30,000 employees.

Prior to that, Carson served as the under secretary of the U.S. Army, where he managed the daily operations of the largest military service, and as general counsel of the U.S. Army, where he oversaw the service’s worldwide legal operations. Carson is widely published and is a noted authority on national security, energy policy and American politics. From 2001 to 2005, Carson served two terms as a U.S. congressman, representing Oklahoma’s 2nd District. Later, he was appointed to the faculty of TU’s Collins College of Business and College of Law, where he taught courses on energy policy, property law, negotiation and game theory, globalization and law and literature. In 2008, Carson deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom as an intelligence officer and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service.

Carson brings to TU a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, having spent most of his career working, directly or indirectly, in this area. This interest arises naturally from his childhood growing up on Indian reservations around the country and, later, representing the congressional district that is home to the Cherokee Nation. Carson served as president and chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses, where he refocused the organization’s corporate strategy and governance and significantly increased revenues. Raised in Oklahoma, Carson received his BA from Baylor University and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He then went on to earn a JD at the University of Oklahoma.