Special Assistant to the President
Bachelor's and Master's, Washington University
Since 1996, Cathy Kushner has worked at Excelsior College. Previously vice president of institutional advancement, she oversaw the grants, development, alumni affairs, creative services, and communications and public relations functions for Excelsior College, initiating its first annual campaign in 1996. During her tenure, Excelsior's grants office received its largest single grant ever and over several years secured funding to develop Excelsior's award-winning Online Writing Lab. A founding member and co-chair of Excelsior's President's Committee on Inclusion in 2004, she returned to the PCI in 2013 and chairs its senior leadership advisory council.
As special assistant to the president, she is responsible for the Murray H. Block Center for Leadership Education and Development. Now in its eighth year, LEAD brings together promising Excelsior employees for professional development around leadership capabilities. Through its two levels of programming, LEAD has a strong track record of promotion among its alumni. She also takes on assignments as directed by the President.
Kushner has a long history of involvement with what is now the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, serving on its foundation board for several years and now on the Chamber's Business Services Corporation. Her volunteer commitments have included the United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York and work with foreign exchange students in area high schools.
Before joining Excelsior, she served as executive director of the YWCA of Lincoln, Nebraska. Earlier in her career in Lincoln, she worked for a private college, the area community college, and for Nebraska Educational Television. She was also involved in a number of community initiatives, serving on the United Way board of directors, helping to initiate the Nebraska Women's Political Network, and founding the group, "Citizens against Racism and Prejudice."