Before coming to the University of Iowa in 2013, Brinda was a public health officer in Black Hawk County, director of Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities Program (a non-profit promoting alternative fuels for transportation), assistant director of MBA admissions at Mays Business School at Texas A&M, and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Assistant at Washington State University. She grew up in Iowa, received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa and moved to Philadelphia where she earned an M.S. in Environmental Policy from Drexel University. Prior to joining the UI Office of Sustainability and the Environment, Brinda was the Associate Director of the Iowa Sciences Academy.