Catherine Breen is the Managing Director of VPAL, a key leadership position responsible for leading and managing all the Department’s production and administrative staff and functions, including Course Creation, Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, and IT. She serves as a trusted advisor to the Vice Provost and works closely with him to plan and manage VPAL’s strategic initiatives and develop its short and long-term financial and operational plans.
Prior to joining VPAL, Cathy served as the Chief Operating Officer for Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health care systems innovation that is part of Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Over the course of four years in that position, Cathy oversaw 100% growth in revenue, staff, and space. Cathy has also held various senior executive roles within Harvard University for the past two decades, including Senior Director of the Office for Sponsored Programs, Interim Dean for Administration in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President, and Administrative Director for the PEPFAR program in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Before arriving at Harvard, Cathy worked for five years in Moscow and Washington, D.C. at the World Bank managing privatization projects across multiple regions in Russia.
Cathy received her B.A. from Colby College in Maine and her M.S. in Foreign Service from the Walsh School at Georgetown University.