Interim president of Hunter College
Hunter College’s new interim president brings a wealth of leadership experience — and a long history with Hunter College and The City University of New York.
Dr. Kirschner has worked for more than two decades in higher education, including 15 years in senior administrative and academic roles at CUNY. Her first job was as a summer college assistant at Hunter College, working for a professor in the Psychology Department.
Along the way, Dr. Kirschner’s career has covered a lot of territory, from the classroom to the boardroom. As an entrepreneur and digital strategist, she was a senior executive of five technology start-ups, including NFL.COM and NFL SUNDAY TICKET, and FATHOM, one of the first online learning companies, which she developed at Columbia University in partnership with the London School of Economics, University of Chicago, the British Library, and other leading institutions.
As dean emerita of Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Dr. Kirschner helped create one of the nation’s best public honors colleges. She then served on the CUNY Chancellor’s cabinet as a strategic adviser, expanding public-private partnerships across CUNY, launching CUNY’s partnership with Cornell Tech, Verizon, and other companies in the creation of Women in Technology in New York (WITNY, now known as Break Through Tech). As a university professor with the CUNY Graduate Center, she developed and taught interdisciplinary graduate courses on the future of higher education and the future of work.
A graduate of New York public schools, Dr. Kirschner earned degrees from the University at Buffalo and the University of Virginia, and received her Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, where she was named Whiting Fellow in the Humanities, and served on its board of trustees.
Her writings include the award-winning book Sala’s Gift, the story of her mother’s wartime rescue of letters from Nazi labor camps. Sala’s Gift has been published in seven languages. It is also the basis for Arlene Hutton’s award-winning play Letters to Sala, which has been performed off-Broadway and at over 170 theaters and schools. She is the author of Lady at the OK Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp, wife of famed lawman Wyatt Earp, and recently appeared in the documentary film, Jews of the West. Her articles on technology, media, and education have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and she is a contributing writer to Forbes.