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Catharine B. Hill


Catharine Bond Hill

President and Professor of Economics

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. For the previous seven years Hill was the provost of Williams College.

Under Hill's leadership, Vassar has reinstated need-blind admissions and replaced loans with grants in financial aid for low-income families. Other initiatives include greater community outreach and the development of tools and resources for institutional research and long-term planning. In 2007/08, Hill taught an advanced-level seminar on the economics of higher education.

Hill's publications include the study co-authored with Gordon C. Winston "Access to the Most Selective Private Colleges by High-Ability, Low-Income Students: Are They Out There?" (College Access: Opportunity or Privilege?, College Board, 2006) and "Affordability: Family Incomes and Net Prices at Highly Selective Private Colleges and Universities" co-authored with Gordon C. Winston and Stephanie Boyd (Journal of Human Resources, 2005). She has also authored opinion pieces appearing in The Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times and Inside Higher Ed.

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. The current work of Hill and her colleagues on the economics and affordability of higher education is primarily supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is a member of the NCAA Division III Presidents Council and a trustee of The College Board.

Hill originally joined the economics faculty at Williams in 1985. In her earlier career she worked for the World Bank, and the Fiscal Analysis Division of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office.

In what she has called one of the most transformative experiences of her life, Hill and her family lived from 1994-1997 in the Republic of Zambia, where she was the fiscal/trade advisor and then chief-of-party for the Harvard Institute for International Development's Project on Macroeconomic Reform. She has written widely from her experiences in Africa, including co-editing the books Promoting and Sustaining Economic Reform in Zambia (2004) and the widely-reviewed Public Expenditure in Africa (1996).

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 honours in politics, philosophy and economics. She completed her Ph.D. in economics at Yale University.

Hill and her husband, Kent J. Kildahl, head of the Upper School at Riverdale Country School (Riverdale, New York), have three children.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

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