Catharine Hill became the 10th president of Vassar College in July 2006. Hill is a noted economist whose work focuses on higher education affordability and access. Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar has reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. In 2015 the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, awarded Vassar the inaugural million-dollar prize for Equity in Educational Excellence for its efforts to expand access and support to students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Hill established a first-of-its-kind veterans admission partnership with the Posse Foundation, with Vassar enrolling its first eleven veterans as freshmen in 2013. The partnership continues to thrive with ten veterans enrolled in subsequent years, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Prior to her Vassar presidency, Hill served seven years as the provost of Williams College. She had chief academic and financial officer responsibilities. Hill originally joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985. She and her family lived from 1994 — 1997 in the Republic of Zambia, working in the Ministry of Finance and with the Bank of Zambia.
Hill serves on the boards of Ithaka, Inc., the American Council of Education, and is an alumni fellow to the Yale Corporation.
Hill graduated from Williams College, earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Brasenose College, Oxford University. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Yale University.