Danny Brassell, Ph.D.

Internationally-Acclaimed Speaker | Best-Selling Author | Trainer | Coach

Your Motivational Success Catalyst

Danny Brassell For the past two decades, Dr. Danny Brassell has served as an educational advisor to students ranging from preschoolers to rocket scientists. While he has held a variety of titles and worked with leaders from a variety of fields and disciplines, Danny has always considered himself first and foremost a teacher.

A recognized authority on leadership development, motivation and communication skills, Danny has been honored consistently for his strategic intellect and practical solutions. Audiences rave about Danny’s ability to deliver meaningful and memorable messages that are applicable for individuals within all levels of organizations. A gregarious, sought-after author, speaker and business consultant, Danny is characterized by friends, colleagues and clients as one of the most insightful, powerful and compassionate individuals in business today. Thousands, from small business owners to corporate executives, have enjoyed his energetic, interactive and informative presentations.

Danny shares the knowledge he has acquired through his own diverse experiences, as he wears a number of hats…

The Teacher

Inspired by the film Stand and Deliver, Danny began his teaching career in Compton, California (south Los Angeles). He has served as a teacher and tutor to pre-K – grade 12 students. While earning his doctorate, Danny taught international students English as a Second Language at the American Language Institute at the University of Southern California, and he also served as the founding director of Loyola Marymount University’s MA program partnership with Teach for America. For 17 years he taught at California State University as a tenured professor, training educational leaders in mastering communication, motivational and leadership skills. His popular live televised courses consistently earned raves from students and casual viewers alike for content presented in a “fun, meaningful and memorable” way. Additionally, Danny helped coordinate alternative teaching credential programs that served over 4,000 teachers in 150 schools throughout 14 school districts serving over 400,000 students in the Los Angeles area.

The Author

Danny has authored over 50 articles for newspapers, magazines and journals, and his work has been featured in publications ranging from USA Today to The Los Angeles Times. He has published 15 books, including A Baker’s Dozen of Lessons Learned from the Teaching Trenches (Shell, 2009) and Leadership Begins with Motivation (Success Press, 2015). Danny has also served as a lead consultant, reviewer and editor for a number of other publications and products.

The Trainer

Last year Danny traveled over 100 days to over 35 states and two Canadian provinces while speaking to over 25,000 people. He has shared the stage with elite authors, musicians, speakers, athletes, policymakers and business and military leaders. Hailed as “Jim Carrey with a Ph.D.” for his ability to deliver inspiring messages while providing concrete strategies to improve his audiences’ bottom lines, Danny believes that people are not looking for a speaker; they are looking for a solution to their problems. He strives to give his clients superior value and deliver more than what is expected. To that end, Danny has consulted with a number of leaders in business, medicine, education, government, athletics and the arts, and he has provided clients and colleagues with ongoing support and training. Additionally, he has developed products based specifically on the needs and interests of his clients and colleagues.

The Student

Born to middle-class parents in upstate New York who always emphasized their children’s education, Danny was ingrained with a work ethic that has served him well throughout his life. He has constantly challenged himself. At age 11 he began his first newspaper route in Waterloo, Iowa. As a teenager he supported himself as a sandwich board man in Durango, Colorado. He has also worked as a babysitter, a busboy, a landscape artist (a.k.a. gardener), a health club attendant, a paralegal, a salesman, a stand-up comedian, an assistant to a U.S. Congressman, an archivist at the largest homeless shelter in America and a freelance journalist. Danny has traveled to 53 countries, studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, and earned degrees from three universities, including his doctorate from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. When he discovered that Theodore Roosevelt had read over 20,000 books by the age of 30, Danny resolved to start reading 5-10 books/day (a lot of those books are pop-up and scratch-n-sniffs, but he does manage to read quite a few diverse titles).

The Mass Media Veteran

In 2003 Danny founded The Lazy Readers’ Book Club, Google’s #1-ranked site for cool, “short book recommendations,” boasting over 10,000 subscribers. He has hosted his own radio program and appeared in various television and film projects. For five seasons he hosted the TV show People Make a Difference, which could be viewed in over 4 million homes throughout Southern California and featured a variety of guests, including heart surgeon Kathy Magliato, chocolatiers Ed Engoron and Joan Vieweger, artist Synthia Saint James and literacy experts Kelly Gallagher and Stephen Krashen. Finally, his TEDx talk “The Reading Makeover” has been singled-out as one of the funniest and most inspirational education speeches of the past five years.

The Servant

Danny has been blessed to have a variety of wonderful mentors in his lifetime, and he takes his greatest pleasure giving back to others. When he was still an inner-city school teacher in Compton, California, he founded the non-profit organization Assignment: Books, which created school libraries in under-resourced schools. For eight years Danny served on the Board of Directors (twice as Chairman) of BookEnds, a non-profit organization created by an 8-year-old boy that creates classroom libraries in under-resourced areas, responsible for nearly 3 million book donations to schools, juvenile detention facilities and group homes. One of Danny’s most gratifying positions was as literacy volunteer trainer for The Wonder of Reading, which enabled him to train thousands of volunteers at over 100 Los Angeles-area schools to work one-on-one with struggling and reluctant readers. Since Danny hated reading as a child, he loves being the driving force to help disenchanted adults find their own passions for learning.

Besides being a son and a brother, he is a devoted husband and proud father of three. They are active in their church’s activities, particularly its work with foreign missionaries. Danny is grateful for all of the people who have helped him and strives to help others as often as he can. He heeds the words of a tiny hymn taped on a post-it to his computer:

Others, Lord, yes others
Let this my motto be.
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like thee.