Biography: Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.


  Barbara K Mistic, DM
  Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.


Mistick earned a bachelor’s degree at Carlow College, earned an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University. She also earned a Certificate in Case Method Teaching from Harvard University and served as a visiting professor at the University of Trent in Italy.

Wilson College

Mistick became the 19th president of Wilson College (PA) in 2011.  She is the architect of the strategic plan Wilson Today, a 5-point plan structured to double enrollment by reducing tuition and creating a first-of-its-kind student debt buyback plan.  In addition, the plan included adding academic programs in health care and other areas of demand, addressing infrastructure and future facilities needs, improving the marketing of the College, and opening all degree programs to coeducation. During her tenure, Wilson has experienced record enrollment growth, nearing 1,500 students in fall 2018.

Value and affordability, as well as the overall student experience, have been the cornerstones of Mistick’s tenure at Wilson. She has overseen a transformation of Wilson’s 300-acre campus, part of an extensive campus enhancement plan. Other achievements include the addition of several degree programs in health sciences and animal studies and new graduate programs in accountancy, education, fine arts, nursing and healthcare management. Additionally, the college now honors 10 formal dual enrollment agreements with area high schools, making it easier for 11th and 12th grade students to enroll and earn college credit.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

As president of Pittsburgh’s Public Library System, Mistick was  responsible for the strategic leadership and operation of Pittsburgh’s greatest educational treasure, serving 2.2 million visitors and circulating 3.2 million items annually. She commissioned the library’s first economic impact study documenting the library’s role in literacy and learning in addition to the library’s annual contribution of over $168 million to the Pittsburgh region’s economy. Additionally, she launched the first ever capital campaign for the library, which has renovated 10 neighborhood branches. The successful $58 million campaign is a collaboration of public, foundation, corporate and community support.

Carnegie Mellon University

While at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Mistick held a joint appointment with the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management and the College of Arts and Sciences School of Design. She also served as director of the Girls Math & Science Partnership, a unique workforce development collaboration between Fred Rogers’ Family Communication Inc., the University of Pittsburgh and CMU. She also was the team leader for CMU’s collaboration with the United Jewish Federation to develop a model community leadership training institute for Israeli Jews and Arabs in the Galilee region of Israel.

Seton Hill University

Mistick served as the director of The National Education Center for Women in Business and was associate professor of entrepreneurship. As director of Seton Hill’s Entrepreneurship Center, she served on the president’s staff and was responsible for: strategic planning, building internal and external support, raising sustaining funds, developing a communications and marketing plan, establishing research agendas, and implementing programs. She is widely recognized for the first state-wide research documenting women’s economic contributions to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Business Experience

Prior to Mistick’s career in educational settings, she had over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur and business leader. Recognizing a need to provide transportation services to homebound handicapped individuals and developmentally disadvantaged students, she founded Mobility, Inc. She developed and managed this start up into a multi-million dollar business, growing at a multiple year annualized growth rate in excess of 250 percent. Mobility Inc. was later acquired by Laidlaw Transit Ltd., the largest pupil transportation carrier in North America. Recognizing Mistick’s expertise in the industry, Laidlaw appointed her as general manager of the Western Pennsylvania District, where she had management responsibility for eight terminal locations and more than 1,000 employees.

Honors and Non-Profit Leadership

Mistick is widely recognized as an advocate for women’s issues. She is former chairwoman of the board of directors, on the International ATHENA Foundation, an international leadership organization dedicated to advancing opportunities for woman with programs in over 350 cities worldwide. She also served as a mentor for first-generation college students at Zayed University, the first women’s university in the United Arab Emirates.

Currently, Dr. Mistick serves on the boards of Magee Women’s Hospital and the Pennsylvania Economy League. She has served on the White House Office of Women’s Initiatives, Economic Advisory Council and was former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge’s appointee on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

Mistick was recognized in 2010 by the University of Pittsburgh with a “Distinguished Alumna” award; Pittsburgh’s Top 50 Business Leaders by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Athena Award; SBA Women’s Business Advocate Award; and was named Woman of the Year in Education by Vectors International. The Women’s Center and Shelter awarded Mistick the Ted Craig Humanitarian Award.