Catharine Hill

President, Vassar College

Catharine Bond Hill became the tenth president of Vassar College in July 2006. Hill is a noted economist whose work focuses on higher education affordability and access, as well as on economic development and reform in Africa.

Under Hill’s leadership, Vassar has received recognition for increasing the socioeconomic diversity of the student body, notably by reinstating need-blind admissions and replacing loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. Hill studies access by low-income students to highly selective colleges, and teaches an advanced-level seminar on the economics of higher education.

She and her family lived from 1994 – 1997 in the Republic of Zambia, where she was the fiscal/trade advisor and then head of the Harvard Institute for International Development’s Project on Macroeconomic Reform, working in the Ministry of Finance and with the Bank of Zambia. In her earlier career Hill served seven years as the provost of Williams College, and worked for the World Bank and the Fiscal Analysis Division of the U. S. Congressional Budget Office.

Hill has been selected for a number of scholarly awards, grants, and fellowships from organizations including the American Council of Learned Societies, Brookings Institution, National Science Foundation, and Social Science Research Council. Hill is a trustee of Cooper Union, Ithaka Harbors, Inc. and was recently elected to serve as an alumni fellow to the Yale Corporation.

Hill graduated summa cum laude from Williams College, and also earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Brasenose College, Oxford University, with first class honors in politics, philosophy and economics. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Yale University.