Barbara Vacarr

Barbara Vacarr, PhD, served Kripalu as CEO from 2016–2021. She is a psychologist, an adult educator, and the former president and CEO of Goddard College in Vermont. Her distinguished careers in higher education and mental health have given her the skills and wisdom to advance Kripalu’s mission, offering the gold standard for yoga education and serving as a global vehicle for social impact. Committed to learning what creates meaningful change in the world, Barbara has spent almost 30 years developing programs that support human growth and development and organizational transformation. She is a proud Platinum member of the Women President's Organization, the premier peer advisory organization connecting women presidents and CEOs of privately held, multi-million dollar companies.

During her tenure at Goddard, Barbara acted as a change agent to build sustainability and regain the school’s historic leadership role in higher education. Prior to that, she served as the founding director of the PhD in Adult Learning program at Lesley University, where she developed and led degree programs in adult education, human development and mental-health counseling, and organizational leadership. As an ambassador of progressive education with audiences around the world, Barbara was named one of 50 “Influencers in Aging in America” in 2015, by PBS’s Next Avenue. She is a sought-after speaker and writer on topics including mindfulness, compassion, conscious leadership, and activism. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a deep commitment to missions that have meaning and resonance, and a dedication to organizations doing bold, good work.

Barbara holds a PhD in psychology and human development. She is the founder and senior leader of the Intergenerational Women's Mentoring Collective, served as an interviewer for the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, and is a project leader for the Cambodian Youth and Missing History Project.

Barbara and her husband of 40 years are grandparents of five. She most enjoys spending time with her family.


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