President Bronet: Leading in Arts, Education & Collaboration

Wed, Mar 13th, 2019

For Women’s History Month, we here on Myrtle Avenue are celebrating local women who make positive impacts in our community. Click here to reach the profiles of all the local women who have been featured in our annual Women’s History Month campaign.


Last year, one of the longest standing institutions in our neighborhood, Pratt Institute, began a new chapter when it selected the first woman to lead it. Current president, Frances Bronet, became the college’s 17th president last January and has hit the ground running in working with the community and leading the multi-disciplinary, 132-year-old institution.

Photo Credit: Pratt Institute

Before landing in Clinton Hill, President Bronet created an extensive background of work in architecture, engineering, and higher education, with a deep appreciation for the power of community and collaboration. Born and raised in Montreal, she first attended college there and began her career as an architect. She eventually made her way to New York where she graduated with a Master’s degree in architecture from Columbia and went on to be a professor near Albany at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Then with professor, dean, provost and president positions under her belt, at universities including the University of Oregon and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), she returned to New York last year for the top position at Pratt Institute.

And with that 30 years of experience in arts-based higher education, Ms. Bronet also brings a record of collaboration and commitment to being in and working with communities. As she said in an interview at Pratt last year, “I like seeing what evolves when different people join together, and I like designing teams where the unexpected can unfold.” That might explain why she has so quickly engaged with the community surrounding Pratt Institute, including joining the board of directors of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

About the close and long-standing relationship between the commercial district and the college, she says, “Myrtle Avenue and Pratt Institute have a rich history of collaboration, one that has helped to shape our neighborhood into a thriving canvas that attracts a diverse and vibrant community. Partnering has been the cornerstone of a Pratt education for more than a century, and our students continue to be engaged in public action. They are world makers and risk takers, moving to create a difference in this world. They are deeply immersed in thinking and acting on complex issues that have public consequences. Their work has affected our physical and social environments, and the context of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and beyond are central to their investigations and civic engagement.”

“I look forward to us continuing our collective work to support our neighbors and local businesses through Pratt’s community outreach programs, student scholarship, and cultural programming.  As a board member of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Business Improvement District, I am excited to be part of this important community deeply embracing partnership as an ambitious and deliberate model set to improve the quality of our local environment.”

We are thrilled to have President Bronet as a new neighbor and are appreciative of her early commitment to find ways new ways for Pratt to define itself as a community partner.

Read more about other leading Women on Myrtle Avenue:


Josephine Premice: A trail blazer on and off the stage


Samantha Johnson, Community Activist and Fort Greene Resident


Andrene Sargeant: A Community Detective


Just Because Hair Therapy Salon Owner, Carol Thomas


Sudha Seetharaman of Trilok Fusion Arts & Trilok School


Myrtle Ave Entrepreneur: Keisha Farrell


Mother. Neighbor. Business Owner: Karin Torres


Born to Serve: Bishop A. Rice

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A Librarian Who Serves: Janet Conton


More active than most, Ms. Anne Everett

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