The following email was sent to the Barnard community on February 12, 2018:

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

I am writing to let you know that Kathryn (Kitty) Kolbert, the Constance Hess Williams ’66 Director of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, has informed me of her decision to retire from Barnard at the end of June 2018. 

Kitty has worked tirelessly at Barnard throughout her tenure, and we owe her tremendous thanks. She quickly built Athena into a thriving center, establishing the Athena Film Festival as a renowned marquee event. Over the past eight years, a great number of Barnard students have participated in Athena’s programs, including the Athena Scholars Program.

Upon retiring from directing Athena, Kitty plans to provide strategic consulting to senior leaders in higher education and the non-profit sector, serve as an adviser to BRAVA Investments and VoteRunLead, and continue her distinguished career as a speaker on constitutional and women's rights issues. Kitty will also serve as a consultant with the Athena Film Festival. 

I am pleased to announce that Victoria Gordon, Athena’s Chief of Staff, will serve as Interim Director as we plan for the future.

I am looking forward to the next phase of the Athena Center and to working with faculty, students, alumnae, and key stakeholders to think through what exciting steps are possible for Athena in the years to come. To this end, I have asked Lisa Tiersten, Professor of History and faculty head of the Faculty Governance and Procedures Committee, and Giorgio DiMauro, Dean for International and Global Strategy and member of the Provost’s Office, to work alongside Victoria. Together, they will meet with and compile thoughts and feedback from students, faculty, alumnae, and friends of Barnard to help shape our next steps. 

Again, please join me in wishing Kitty well, and in thanking her for creating and growing Athena and inspiring people to make a difference in the world. 


Sian Leah Beilock