Brokerage in networks is associated with organizational innovation. Yet when brokers span institutional boundaries, such as in global alliance networks, structural separation and institutional separation are conflated as sources of new knowledge that may impact firm innovation. Moreover, cross-national brokers must deal with institutional barriers to knowledge transfer not present when the broker and its partners are embedded in the same environment. We overcome this limitation by developing an exhaustive typology of four unique brokerage triad configurations based on the distribution of the broker and its partners across different countries and on cultural, administrative, geographic, and economic differences between countries. The typology allows us to hold network structure constant and isolate the effect of cross-national diversity in brokerage on innovation. This ‘configuration’ approach overcomes the limitations of the typical ‘interaction’ approach used in prior networks research to jointly consider structural and compositional effects. In empirical analyses of the global biotechnology network during 1985-2005, we find that the different configurations of brokerage triads are associated with distinct innovation outcomes. We distinguish between effects on innovation volume (which gets at the amount of innovative output the firm is able to produce) and innovation radicalness (which captures the path breaking nature of new knowledge). Our results contribute to research on networks, innovation, and institutions.