Esterberg is new UW Bothell Chancellor

Kristin Esterberg selected as chancellor of
UW Bothell Kristin Esterberg portrait

University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark A. Richards today announced the selection of Kristin Esterberg, president of the State University of New York at Potsdam, as chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell. Her appointment, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents, is set to begin Oct. 1. 

Esterberg will succeed Wolf Yeigh, who has served as chancellor since 2013 and will now return to the faculty as a professor of engineering. 

“I’m delighted to have Dr. Esterberg join the UW Bothell community. Dr. Esterberg brings extensive administrative leadership experience to the UW, as well as success in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at SUNY Potsdam, where about 35% of students identify as students of color and significant numbers identify as LGBTQ+,” Cauce said. “She has developed and maintained close relationships with the Potsdam community and nearby colleges, connections that have been especially important in promoting health and safety among students and the public throughout the pandemic. Within the SUNY system, she has taken leadership roles in SUNY task forces on racial equity, sexual violence prevention and global learning. We welcome Kristin and are excited about the future.” 

At SUNY Potsdam, Esterberg currently leads one of America’s first 50 colleges and the oldest institution in the State University of New York system. With a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, she has focused her leadership efforts on developing inclusive campus communities and providing transformational experiences to all students, including faculty-led research, service learning, internships and study abroad. Among her accomplishments is the successful completion of a $33.5 million fundraising campaign and securing the largest gift in campus history — $5.25 million — in support of applied learning. 

“I am thrilled to be joining the UW Bothell community. The campus’s commitment to equity, inclusion and diversity, its innovative approach to cross-disciplinary and community-based teaching and scholarship, and its talented faculty, staff and students make this an extraordinary leadership opportunity,” Esterberg said. “I am deeply honored to be selected as UW Bothell’s next chancellor, and I am looking forward to advancing the campus’s strategic priorities to strengthen diversity and equity, enhance community and campus engagement, and advance cross-disciplinary teaching and scholarship. As we emerge from the pandemic and learn from our experiences of the last year, it is a particularly exciting time to be joining UW Bothell.” 

Prior to her term as SUNY Potsdam president, which began in 2014, Esterberg served as provost and academic vice president at Salem State University in Massachusetts and as deputy provost at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her research has centered on gender and sexuality, social identities, research methodology and social organization and change. 

Esterberg earned her master’s degree and doctorate in sociology from Cornell University, and her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Boston University. 


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