Catherine Breen

Catherine Breen

Catherine Breen

Catherine Breen is the chief of staff and executive director of strategic initiatives at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The chief of staff plays a critical role as strategic thought partner to the institute Director, key partner to the chief operating officer, and close collaborator with other members of the executive and scientific leadership teams. 

Breen was previously the managing director of the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard, a key leadership position in the provost’s office responsible for managing the university’s digital initiatives in online and residential learning. In this role, she worked closely with global partners to both extend Harvard’s reach to new learners and increase enrollments and revenue. Breen collaborated with MIT on edX initiatives, including the acquisition of edX by a for-profit company in 2021. She also rebranded digital offerings under a new Harvard Online portfolio, partnering with faculty, schools, and departments across Harvard to create and deliver interdisciplinary courses for learners worldwide.

Prior to joining VPAL, Breen served as the chief operating officer for Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health care systems innovation under Brigham & Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Breen has also held various senior executive roles within Harvard University for the past two decades, including senior director of the office for sponsored programs; interim dean for administration in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; chief of staff to the executive vice president; and administrative director for the Chan School’s PEPFAR program. Before arriving at Harvard, Breen worked for five years in Moscow and Washington, D.C., at the World Bank managing privatization projects across multiple regions in Russia.

Breen earned a B.A. from Colby College and an M.S. from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. 
 

May 2024