Who We Are


Established in 2009 at Barnard College, the Athena Center for Women’s Leadership is dedicated to the advancement of inspired and courageous women leaders around the world.  Our ground-breaking programs develop innovative approaches to leadership development; educate new generations of women leaders; challenge—and change—cultural stereotypes of leaders; and foster research and public dialogue that expands our understanding of leadership. 

In only 4 years, the Athena Center has developed a wide range of signature initiatives: 

  • The Athena student leadership programs are unique models for leadership development for young women.  They include the Athena Scholars Program and Leadership Labs for Barnard students, the International Women’s Leadership Program held annually in the summer for international college students,  and Entrepreneurs in Training, a summer camp for enterprising high school students; 
  • The Athena Film Festival: developed in partnership with Women and Hollywood, this unique 4-day celebration of women and leadership attracts thousands of filmgoers to Barnard;
  • The Athena Film Festival’s partnership with UN Women, the Athena Global Shorts Program, a collaboration with the International Network of Women’s Film Festivals, and the Barnard Global Symposia generate conversations about leadership across the globe;
  • Customized professional development training programs based on the Athena Core 10 provides executive education for women leaders at corporations and NGO’s;
  • Athena Power Talks and TEDX Barnard College highlight extraordinary women leaders and the latest research in the field.

We are particularly grateful for the generous gifts from our founding donors as well as the Athena Leadership Council, key supporters and advisors to the Center who share a deep commitment to women’s leadership.  We are also deeply indebted to the Faculty and Student Advisory Boards, Athena’s illustrious Board of Advisors, our partnering consultants, instructors, and dedicated staff who have contributed significantly to our success.

Center Staff

Leadership Council

Board of Advisors

Faculty Advisory Board

Student Advisory Board

Leadership Lab Instructors