Chatham University

President's Bio

Esther L. Barazzone, Ph.D.

Esther Barazzone became President of Chatham University in 1992, after a career as a faculty member and administrator at Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges, the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College and Philadelphia University. Dr. Barazzone holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in European Intellectual History from Columbia University, where she was a Fellow of the Faculty. Dr. Barazzone was a Charter Scholar in the first graduating class of New College in Sarasota, Florida, where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy and History. She received a US Student Fulbright award to Spain and studied at the Wharton School of Business Administration and at Harvard University's Institute for Educational Management.

Dr. Barazzone has led Chatham through a period of major institutional renewal and expansion leading to national recognition and elevation to university status in 2007. Since 1992, the institution has added graduate programs through the doctoral level, reinvigorated its undergraduate program, renewed and expanded its physical campus and infrastructure, engaged in significant fundraising, and assumed a new leadership role in the local and national community.

Major program development at Chatham has included the creation of many new degree and certificate programs (undergraduate, graduate and continuing education), a Division III athletic program, and University-wide initiatives such as the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship; the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics; the Rachel Carson Institute; and the Global Focus program, which won the Institute of International Education's Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education in 2003. The tradition of innovation and excellence continues at Chatham's new Eden Hall Campus, the first campus in the world to be built sustainably from the ground up, and the future home of the new Falk School of Sustainability.

Dr. Barazzone is an active leader in the national higher education community and has served on many boards, including the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP). She is a member of the Boards of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dollar Bank, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh.

Dr. Barazzone has received many honors for her work at Chatham and in the community, including the Pittsburgh Business Times Diamond Award (2012); History Maker in Education, Senator H. John Heinz III History Center (2006); the Vectors Pittsburgh Woman of the Year in Education (1999); and YWCA Leadership Award in Education (1999). Her work in international education has been recognized with the University Medal from Fatima Jinnah Women's University in Rawalpindi, Pakistan (2001); honorary doctorates from Seoul Women's University in Seoul, Korea (2000) and Doshisha Women's College in Kyoto, Japan (1999); and the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award for Outstanding Leadership for Peace and Humanitarianism from Morehouse College (2004). She has also been recognized for her work on behalf of the advancement of women by the Susan B. Anthony Leadership Award from the Women's Leadership Assembly (1999).