Launched in 2009 as a special initiative of Barnard President Debora Spar, the Athena Center uses a wide-range of strategies to advance women as leaders in the public and private spheres and in the political and civic life of communities around the Globe. Kathryn Kolbert, the Constance Hess Williams Director, joined as its founding director in fall 2009. Since then, the center has provided education, research, professional development and public education programs both in New York and internationally.
A distinguished leader in American higher education since 1889, Barnard College at Columbia University provides a world-class liberal arts education to nearly 2,400 undergraduate women, many of whom go on to be world leaders in diverse fields. The College’s dedication to the advancement of women and its setting in New York City make Barnard an ideal home for the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, a multi-disciplinary center devoted to the advancement of women’s leadership.