Cady Short-Thompson, PhD. Provided


Breakthrough Cincinnati’s CEO Dr. Cady Short-Thompson was recently unanimously appointed by NKU’s Board of Regents to serve as Northern Kentucky University’s seventh president.

Dr. Short-Thompson has served as Breakthrough Cincinnati’s CEO since October 2021, after spending 25 years in higher education at Hope College, the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University. In 2021, Breakthrough Cincinnati recruited Short-Thompson to return home to Cincinnati to serve as their CEO and Executive Director. Breakthrough Cincinnati (, is a non-profit organization focused on educational equity that provides rigorous college preparatory programs for high need and high potential middle and high school students and inspires and trains college students as the next generation of teachers.

Short-Thompson is grateful for the talented team and proud of the ambitious agenda she led at Breakthrough over the last two years. She said, “Breakthrough Cincinnati has a strong organizational culture that makes clear to high need, high potential students and families that it’s cool to be smart and that college is in their future. I love the creativity and energy of the summer scholars program and how we hire and nurture top, diverse teaching talent to serve our students.” 

Short-Thompson led Breakthrough Cincinnati with strategic dexterity, diversifying and growing funding to record levels, expanding the staff team and number of sites, and recruiting the most diverse cadre of teaching fellows in its history. 

The NKU presidency allows Short-Thompson to the institution she has admired since her career began there in 1996 and builds upon all of her experiences. Board Chair Jane Garvey said, “Cady has been an incredible leader for our expanding organization.  She has built an impressive team, improved our infrastructure and funding, and embraced the Breakthrough magic that nurtures students and teachers to dream big and create brighter futures.  We wish Cady all the best as she becomes the President of NKU, especially since we know her passion to improve education will benefit Breakthrough and our region.”

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