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Damian Woetzel is the seventh president of The Juilliard School, where he is championing excellence and prioritizing affordability and access to the highest level of artistic education. Since beginning his tenure in July 2018, Woetzel has brought on a new generation of artistic leadership, launched initiatives in Creative Enterprise and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB); created new technology-driven programs including Juilliard LIVE, a Bloomberg-sponsored livestreaming initiative with a dedicated app; expanded national and international touring; opened the school’s first branch campus in Tianjin, China; and achieved numerous fundraising milestones, including funding the newly tuition-free Drama MFA as well as the Music Advancement Program (MAP), which has also expanded thanks to a $50 million grant. As he moves forward, Woetzel continues to build on Juilliard’s tradition of educational and artistic excellence as he leads a multiyear effort to increase sustainable affordability alongside a dedicated board of trustees, led by chair Vincent Mai.

One of the foremost ballet dancers of his time, Woetzel retired in 2008 from a 20-year career as a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet and as a dancer on the international stage. Since leaving performance, Woetzel has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership, including artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival since 2007, where he has commissioned over 100 new works by choreographers including Michelle Dorrance, Alonzo King, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Paul Taylor, Pam Tanowitz, and Christopher Wheeldon, with new music by composers including Rhiannon Giddens, Philip Glass, Jason Moran, and Caroline Shaw. Woetzel's other roles have included director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program from 2011 to 2018, and founding director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, which initiated grants to support new dance works over a five-year period. Projects have included DEMO, his own series at the Kennedy Center, Spaces by Wynton Marsalis for Jazz at Lincoln Center, numerous initiatives with Yo-Yo Ma, including the Silk Road Connect program in the New York City public schools. President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and he served throughout the Obama era. Woetzel holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and has been a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. He received the 2015 Harvard Arts Medal and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Read the press release naming Damian Woetzel Juilliard's seventh president