With Distinguished Career in Higher Ed, Dr. Vacarr to Lead the
Preeminent Center for Yoga Education in U.S. & Leader in Social Impact

STOCKBRIDGE, MASS., June 9, 2016 – The Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health today announced the appointment of Dr. Barbara Vacarr as the center’s incoming CEO. The former President and CEO of Goddard College in Vermont, an adult educator, and a psychologist, Dr. Vacarr brings to Kripalu the skills and wisdom of a distinguished career in higher education as Kripalu continues to advance its leadership position as the gold standard for education in yoga, and as a global vehicle for social impact. Vacarr will officially begin her tenure on August 15, 2016 following the departure of CEO David Lipsius.

During her nearly four-year tenure at Goddard College, Vacarr acted as a change agent to build sustainability and to regain the school’s historic leadership role in higher education. Prior to Goddard, Vacarr 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, Vacarr was named one of PBS Next Avenue’s 50 Influencers in Aging in America in 2015. 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.

“My experience in the fields of higher education and mental health and human services make me acutely aware of the challenges to remain faithful to values and vision that organizations and institutions face in today’s increasingly competitive and complex marketplace,” says Dr. Vacarr. “Kripalu has managed both to stay relevant and responsive to the challenges of a changing society and committed to its values. Such a balancing act doesn’t come easily: doing well by doing good demands constant attention and innovation, continual reorientation and adjustment. Kripalu’s aspiration to be a catalyst for culture change by developing individuals, schools, and communities, is increasingly serving a vital social role. I consider it a tremendous honor and privilege to serve Kripalu’s mission at a time when it is most needed in the world.”

 “As stewards of this extraordinary organization, the board was delighted to unanimously select Dr. Barbara Vacarr to lead Kripalu at this exciting point in its evolution,” said Carol O’Neil, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Kripalu Center. “Thanks to the exceptional work of David Lipsius, Kripalu today is a model of organizational excellence and a leader in the marketplace. Dr. Vacarr will assume leadership as Kripalu moves into some of the most profound social impact work of its 40-plus-year history.”

For more information on Kripalu’s mission to ignite worldwide compassion and its programs, please visit,

About Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health

Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health is the American university of yoga. For over 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. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in the magnificent Berkshires, Kripalu serves as the field leader in evidence-based, whole-person education for body, mind, heart and spirit. For more information, visit, like Kripalu on Facebook at, or follow the center on Twitter and Instagram @KripaluCenter.

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