The George Washington University announced on Thursday, April 8, that longtime educator, scholar, producer, and museum professional Lauren Onkey will serve as the next director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. She will begin her role on July 12. 

Dr. Onkey most recently served as senior director at NPR Music, where she led a team of journalists, critics, and media makers and provided the editorial vision in creating innovative cross-platform music journalism. She has more than two decades of experience, ranging from directing the NPR Music team to developing and managing award-winning education and community programs as the vice president of education and public programming at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

“Lauren Onkey brings to the Corcoran an impressive breadth of hands-on experience in the arts and cultural studies, paired with considerable scholarly achievement in her field,” Provost M. Brian Blake said. “Her proven commitment to innovation and diversity make her a perfect fit for GW’s diverse and vibrant community of scholars. She will be a tremendous asset to the Corcoran’s students and faculty.”

During her tenure at NPR, Dr. Onkey worked with NPR’s newsroom and member station network to expand the impact of NPR Music and continue positioning public radio as an essential force in music. Her portfolio included the Tiny Desk concert series, which now comprises more than 900 concerts viewed a collective 2 billion times on YouTube. 

“The arts are one important way we define ourselves — how we argue, grow, find truths and bridge divides,” Dr. Onkey said. “The combination of departments that the Corcoran and GW bring together across so many diverse fields of art and study is unique and powerful, particularly in the context of GW students’ tradition of community engagement. I’m excited about the opportunity to invest in creative and cultural partnerships that leverage the Corcoran’s diversity of thought, expertise, and experience.”

For more information, visit

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?