CEO Leadership Transition

Update from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health


Dr. Barbara Vacarr to Depart as Chief Executive Officer, Robert Mulhall Named Acting CEO


January 6, 2021

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, North America’s leading yoga retreat center located in Stockbridge, today announced the departure of their CEO, Dr. Barbara Vacarr, to take effect on January 31, 2021. Vice President of Programming and Business Strategy, Robert Mulhall, will assume the position of acting CEO. Dr. Vacarr is set to enter the third act of her career, functioning as an independent consultant supporting women in leadership roles and holding board positions for organizations aligned with her areas of interest.

Marcia Feuer, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated, “We are immensely grateful to Dr. Vacarr for her tireless work and valued accomplishments over these past years. This period of global pandemic is something none of us anticipated, and we are very fortunate that we entered this time from a place of strength due to the hard work of Barbara and the entire Kripalu team. The Board looks forward to moving ahead with the shared goal of a seamless and smooth transition that honors Barbara and benefits Kripalu.” Feuer continued, “Robert Mulhall brings decades of experience and insight to the role of acting CEO, and we look forward to working closely with him.” 

During Dr. Vacarr’s tenure at Kripalu, the organization experienced record-level financial performance, numerous organizational awards, and a deep commitment to increasing diversity efforts. Under her leadership, the organization developed a new Strategic Plan to direct the organization’s path forward and meet the challenges of a dynamic and changing world.“I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the entire Kripalu community for their incredible support, dedicated teamwork, and well-earned accomplishments that have brought us to this moment of change. I feel privileged to have served as Kripalu’s leader, a place that welcomes so many seeking transformation and healing. My care for Kripalu goes far beyond the role of CEO, and I have great faith that the organization will continue to thrive in the capable hands of Robert Mulhall. I look forward to staying connected to Kripalu and the Berkshires where I have made my home.”  During the pandemic, Dr. Vacarr and Robert Mulhall worked closely with the leadership team to ensure Kripalu’s success “off the hill,” introducing the immensely popular Kripalu Online offerings. This programming is serving to keep Kripalu’s loyal community feeling supported and engaged in the Berkshires and beyond, and to date has delivered more than 75 programs to over 9,000 individuals.  

Prior to his time at Kripalu, Robert Mulhall spent two decades developing his expertise in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Born and raised in Ireland, he spent his early career in accounting and finance with PricewaterhouseCoopers before shifting to focus on human leadership and development. Robert received numerous awards as a social entrepreneur prior to moving to India to lead innovative global health programming in partnership with UNICEF, the Gates Foundation, and the Government of India. Robert joined the Kripalu family 3 years ago as an external consultant to support the Board and leadership before taking on a larger role as VP of Programming and Business Strategy in 2019. Since then, his role has expanded to include oversight of Registrations, Guest Services, Marketing, and Production. Robert is a lifelong meditation practitioner and a Kripalu certified yoga teacher.

About Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is the leading and largest yoga retreat center in North America. The non-profit organization specializes in wellness retreats, yoga, and Ayurvedic teacher training and RISE™, the foremost evidence-based program in conscious leadership. For more than 40 years, Kripalu has been the epicenter of humanity-inspired yoga—a fulcrum uniting all yoga traditions behind a single goal: the cultivation of a more awakened, compassionate, and connected world—one person and one heart at a time.  Kripalu serves as the field leader in evidence-based, whole-person education for body, mind, heart, and spirit. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Kripalu sits on over 125 acres of stunning lakefront property in the magnificent Berkshires and includes meditation gardens and hiking trails. The non-profit wellness and education-focused destination offers more than 700 programs per year. Kripalu offers customizable retreats to visitors of all backgrounds. The Kripalu team is working hard to safely welcome guests back in 2021 and will continue to share the organization’s good work with the world online during this time.

"My care for Kripalu goes far beyond the role of CEO, and I have great faith that the organization will continue to thrive in the capable hands of Robert Mulhall, who brings decades of experience, practice, and professionalism into his new role as acting CEO."

Read Barbara's full letter to the Kripalu community here.