Boston Conservatory at Berklee Executive Director Cathy Young Named President of Moore College of Art & Design

Young, whose visionary leadership brought the Conservatory to new heights, will leave Berklee on June 1.

February 23, 2022
Photo of Cathy Young

Cathy Young

Cathy Young, senior vice president and executive director of Boston Conservatory at Berklee, has been named president of Moore College of Art & Design. She will depart Berklee on June 1 and assume her new role at Moore on July 1.

Young made history when, in 2017, she became the first female leader for the then 150-year-old Boston Conservatory. Her visionary work during her tenure has led the Conservatory to incredible new heights. Charged with leading the Conservatory through the highly complex merger with the larger Berklee institution, Young prioritized a two-year strategic planning process for the school that engaged students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters. The resulting Boston Conservatory at Berklee Strategic Direction 2020–2025: A Singular Institution for a Plural World is a visionary plan to maximize the potential of the merger and outlined a comprehensive roadmap to achieving the Conservatory’s most immediate, student-centered goals: increasing access, enriching the student experience, supporting student success, and preparing students for sustainable lifelong careers.

“Boston Conservatory has thrived under Cathy’s leadership,” said Berklee President Erica Muhl. “The Conservatory has made great strides towards important, student-centric goals, and has established vital partnerships, both locally and globally. Thanks to Cathy’s vision and nuanced understanding of performing arts education, Boston Conservatory is widely recognized as one of the best conservatories in the United States for dance, music, and theater. She will be greatly missed.”

Under her leadership, Boston Conservatory launched several innovative programs, including a groundbreaking three-year B.F.A. in commercial dance, new summer programs, foundational technology courses, and several Conservatory courses on Berklee Online, which have distinguished Boston Conservatory from its competitors as a contemporary, globally minded conservatory of the future.

Diversity and inclusion has also been a hallmark of her tenure. She has helped diversify the Conservatory by implementing numerous initiatives, including coordinating enrollment and hiring strategies to increase student, faculty, and staff diversity. The Conservatory has been able to dedicate considerable funds to these diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as student scholarships, including $2.5 million in the 2020–2021 academic year alone.

Prior to her appointment as executive director, Young served for six years as Boston Conservatory’s dean of dance. During that time, she led a dramatic transformation of the Dance Division, revamping the program’s curriculum, training opportunities, and artistic productions to reflect forward-thinking values of diversity, innovation, and collaboration. The dance program attracted top students, faculty, and guest artists, and its student population grew from 60 to 150.

“For the past 11 years, Boston Conservatory has been my home. I feel honored and inspired every day to be leading an institution with such a talented, passionate, creative, and caring community,” said Young, reflecting on her tenure. “The work we have accomplished, together as a community, has been remarkable; I couldn’t be more proud. As I prepare to return to my roots in Philadelphia for this exciting new role as president of Moore College of Art & Design, I want to thank the entire Berklee community for such a meaningful experience.”

Moore College of Art & Design is a private art and design school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the first and only historically all-women’s undergraduate college for art and design in the country.