Movie Giants Hire Graduate Student

Paul Brigner (LAW ’05, MBA ’11) hasn’t been to class in a while, but it is not because he has been watching movies. Instead, he has been managing the film industry.

Brigner flew to Los Angeles on Tuesday to embark on his new role. He was appointed as senior vice president and chief technology officer for the Motion Picture Association of America on Jan. 10, according to Variety.

The MPAA represents Hollywood’s six largest film studios — The Walt Disney Company, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.

“I think that this chance to represent those great companies and all the great work that they do and the content that they produce is an exciting and fascinating opportunity,” Brigner said.

Since 2008, Brigner has attended the McDonough School of Business’ evening program while working at Verizon as their executive director for internet and technology policy. Though he has no experience in the film industry, Brigner hopes to carry his expertise in policy and technology issues over to his job at MPAA.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for someone like me, because this organization has had [chief technology officers] in the past but this role is [for a] chief technology policy officer because they wanted someone who had done pretty much what I did at Verizon,” Brigner said.

Brigner still plans to graduate in June despite his new position. After all, he has never let a full-time job stand in his way, graduating from Georgetown Law’s evening program in 2005 while working as a technical manager at Verizon.

“I realized I needed to diversify my skills and grow in my career and do something different, something that would be more challenging down the road,” Brigner said.

“I think a lot of people think I’m truly a glutton for punishment [for getting both a law and a business degree], but I’ve always felt that in my mind for my career I wanted to have both,” Brigner added. “I wanted to do something different … to have a more entrepreneurial and more business type of role but still [be] in the policy realm.”

Brigner attributes much of his successful career to his time at Georgetown.

“I certainly wouldn’t have this job if it weren’t for my experiences at Georgetown,” he said.

“Everyone I tell about going to Georgetown Law and the MBA program, they’re always extremely impressed.”

However, Brigner had to work hard to balance his academic work with his jobs and his family.

“It was always a bit of a struggle, it was never easy. For a good deal of the time I’ve been at school, I missed out on family obligations and all that goes along with it. It helps learning how to multitask, how to juggle a lot of different responsibilities,” he said. “It’s been a long road, going through two evening programs at Georgetown, but I couldn’t be happier about it.”

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