The role previously was held by Donna Murphy for seven years, who left in February 2013. Jeff Shilling has held the position on an interim basis since November 2013.
Brant, who will receive a $280,000 annual salary, will oversee campus fundraising, alumni relations, communications and marketing. He joins the campus the same year as the unveiling of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $162 million toward a $300 million goal.
Brant said he's excited to attract the resources the campus needs to achieve worldwide recognition.
"UCSC is a leader in interdisciplinary innovation addressing the critical issues of our society," he said.