Brunner holds a PhD in Information, Technology & Management from Harvard University and a BS in Computer Science from Stanford University. Before entering Harvard, Brunner was an associate in the Tokyo and San Francisco offices of The Boston Consulting Group. He is a Research Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation.
Brunner has written about sustaining innovation in mature organizations, applying lean production techniques to software development, and managing research and development project portfolios, among other topics. He is coauthor with Stanford University Professor Emeritus Edward Feigenbaum of The Japanese Entrepreneur: Making the Desert Bloom, a book on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Japan. Brunner has advised Fortune 500 firms in the software, pharmaceutical, biotech, and financial services industries, as well as a variety of high-tech startups.
During the summer of 2004, Brunner served as an advisor to Kyoto Prefecture on the promotion of entrepreneurship. Brunner has worked for high-tech startups both in Tokyo and in Silicon Valley, where he cofounded an Internet startup in 1999. In April, 2000, he organized the first Asia Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University. ASES has subsequently grown into a prominent international student organization dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific region.
Brunner has a strong interest in Japanese culture and society. He studied Japanese language and culture as a Ministry of Education Scholar at Shizuoka University and speaks fluent Japanese. Brunner also speaks French, and holds the diploma in advanced French language studies (DALF). At Stanford he received the Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholastic Award, presented to the top five percent of graduating seniors in the Engineering School, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi.