Cathy has extensive senior leadership experience in higher education, working with trustees, presidents, provosts and other institutional leaders on diverse and complex transformation projects. These include strategic planning, new operating model designs, community engagement, mergers and acquisitions, cost reduction, and revenue-generating initiatives.
Transformational change requires a clear vision, strong leadership, a willingness to persevere in the face of resistance, clear and consistent communication with all stakeholders, and an ability to shift culture where required.”
In her decades of leadership, including serving as a college president, Cathy has led successful transformations for academic institutions. She is experienced in dealing with a wide breadth of functional and complex change projects across functions. Cathy helps colleges and universities with initiatives ranging from transformational technology and athletic programs to organizational efficiency and partnership opportunities. Cathy has significant experience working with a variety of stakeholder and governance groups to create change-ready institutions. She has led operations in all areas of higher education, including finance and budget, information technology, advancement/alumni relations, communications, community/government affairs, marketing, human resources and facilities.
Prior to joining Huron, Cathy was president of Paul Smith’s College. Under her leadership the school added its first graduate programs, developed new undergraduate and athletic programs, diversified its revenue base, and achieved its highest retention and graduation rates. Before that, she served in a number of leadership roles at Cornell University, including as the founding vice president of Cornell Tech (a ground-up new graduate campus in New York City) and associate dean of two schools. Prior to moving to higher education, Cathy held management roles in the private sector with several organizations, including an aerospace electronics firm and a pharmaceutical company.
Cathy has served on numerous boards, including the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, the Business Council of New York State, and the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education. She is certified by the Center for Executive Coaching as an executive leadership coach and a master facilitator.
Cathy has earned a number of awards, including the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction, the FTA Award for Excellence as an Educator, the University of Pennsylvania GSE Distinguished Alumni Award, the Equity Leadership Award from Nontraditional Employment for Women, and the Education and Technology Leadership Award from the Association of Real Estate Women. She is a frequent speaker on the importance of higher education to communities as well as on leading academic institutions and empowering, building, and motivating workforces, young professionals and students.
Areas of Expertise
- Enterprise Strategy
- Budgeting and Financial Management
- Organizational Design and Alignment
- Talent Management
- Cultural Change
- Business Planning
- Business Unit Strategy
- Innovation and Commercialization
- Strategic Planning
- Strategic Programming
- Learning and Development
Education & Certifications
- Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania
- MBA, Cornell University
- B.S., Georgetown University
- Certified executive coach, Center for Executive Coaching
- Certified master facilitator, Center for Executive Coaching