Damian Woetzel is the seventh president of The Juilliard School. Since retiring in 2008 from a 20-year career as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, Woetzel has taken on multiple roles in arts leadership, including artistic director of the Vail Dance Festival since 2007 and director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program (2011-18). As an independent director, choreographer, and producer, his recent projects include DEMO at the Kennedy Center; Spaces by Wynton Marsalis for Jazz at Lincoln Center; Kennedy Center Honors tributes to Natalia Makarova, Patricia McBride, and Carmen de Lavallade; an arts salute to Stephen Hawking for the World Science Festival; two Turnaround Arts performances at the White House and the White House Dance Series hosted by Michelle Obama. Woetzel has collaborated on numerous initiatives with Yo-Yo Ma, including the Silk Road Connect program in the New York City public schools. In 2009, Woetzel became the founding director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation’s New Essential Works (NEW) Program, which initiates grants to support new dance works. President Obama appointed Woetzel to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities in 2009, and he served throughout the Obama administration. Woetzel holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was 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. Woetzel serves on the boards of New York City Center, Sing for Hope, and Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Alliance.
“Our commitment to our students must be to provide an evolving platform that offers them the fullest range of opportunity for their individual futures.”
- President Damian Woetzel, First Day Message