Gwendolyn Freed is an experienced leader in higher education, nonprofit organizations, and the arts. From 2021–23, she served as Interim Director of the University of Minnesota School of Music. Previously, she was chief development officer at the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has served as vice president at Cornish College of the Arts and Gustavus Adolphus College. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Handbook of Higher Education Theory and Research, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She holds a PhD in educational policy and administration and a master's degree in public affairs from the University of Minnesota, and music degrees from The Juilliard School and Oberlin Conservatory.