Languages Spoken


Kathy Kuras is President and CEO of the YMCA of Austin, the first woman to hold this position in the organization’s 65+ year history.

Kathy grew up in Dallas, and brings 30 years of Y experience in large metropolitan areas (Dallas, Charlotte and Boston) as well as with YMCA of the USA, the organization’s national resource center, where she pioneered an enterprise-wide leadership development effort and helped revitalize the organization’s culture.

Throughout her community-focused career, she has led the development of strategic partnerships, implemented innovation strategies, and scaled multiple initiatives to 800+ local YMCA associations, resulting in organizational growth and positive outcomes in youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Notable examples include co-founding the Know Before You Go (now Safety Around Water) drowning prevention program, collaborating initially with Children’s Medical Center, National Safe Kids Coalition and American Red Cross in Dallas; enhancing a medical referral program through a shared nurse staffing model with the YMCA and Carolinas Healthcare System (now Atrium Health); engaging Northwestern University’s graduate program in Organizational Learning and Change to enhance storytelling and engagement, mobilizing 500 YMCA change champions across the U.S.; and launching a comprehensive virtual health and fitness platform ( serving the Greater Boston community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drawing from her arts background, she is also a filmmaker and co-founder of an independent music and film company, Vanguard Muse. In 2021, Kathy received the Breaking Barriers Award from the Women’s Football Alliance at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium for her first feature documentary film, OPEN FIELD, which premiered at the Austin Film Festival in 2020 and won Best Documentary Audience Awards at the Alexandria, Riverside International and Angeles Doc Film Festivals in 2021.

Kathy is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and holds an undergraduate degree in music from Loyola University of New Orleans and a Masters of Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College in Massachusetts.