Biography

Woman standing outside in a yellow cardigan.
Kathy Humphrey

For more than 30 years, Dr. Kathy Humphrey has built a reputation as an innovative and passionate leader within the higher education field and across the Pittsburgh community.

Dr. Humphrey now serves as the University of Pittsburgh’s Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement and Secretary of the Board of Trustees. In these roles, she oversees the University’s internal and external relations, focusing on facilitating business engagement, strategic initiatives and partnerships, and government interaction at all levels.

During her tenure, Dr. Humphrey and her team opened the first Community Engagement Center in Homewood, a placed-based strategy that assists Pitt in using its teaching and research to provide service to the community. She developed a stronger culture of valued pluralism and created the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has led innovative efforts to provide the University community with platforms to engage.

She first came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2005 to serve as the Vice Provost and Dean of Students. In that role, she and her team worked to create “the best collegiate student experience in the world.” She is passionate about making the world better through the lives of students, and she served in that position for over nine years.

A significant presence in Pittsburgh’s civic life, Dr. Humphrey serves on the Board of Directors of Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc, Gwen’s Girls and the Blood Science Foundation. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the International Women’s Forum of Pittsburgh and is Chair of The Forbes Funds. In 2013, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation appointed Humphrey to the Advisory Council for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where she served four years.

Dr. Humphrey’s leadership has earned numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career, including the YWCA Tribute to Women Leadership Award, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Creating A Just Community Award, 2020 NABHI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Chuck Cooper Foundation, Leadership Award, 2018 Gwen’s Girls Equity Summit Honoree, 2016 Nellie Leadership Award, a distinction as one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s “50 Women of Excellence,” and the 2019 Onyx Woman Leadership Award for her contribution to the community and support of other women. She also earned the Pitt African American Alumni Council’s Sankofa Award, which honors community members who have offered outstanding education support to students. On numerous occasions the students at the University of Pittsburgh recognized her as the Administrator of the year, and she was honored by the International Student Federation of St. Louis University, which named the organization’s diversity award the “Kathy W. Humphrey Award for Diversity.”

Deeply committed to the values of mercy, hospitality, service, discovery, and sacredness of creation, Dr. Humphrey is a faithful member of Macedonia on The Hill, and she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Dr. Humphrey earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Central Missouri, a Master of Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a doctorate in educational leadership at Saint Louis University. She has also maintained a faculty appointment in Pitt’s School of Education.

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