Hilary Robinson is the dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University. Trained as a painter in the 1970s, she spent many years working as an artist and as an arts administrator, critic and lecturer. She taught history and theory of art at the University of Ulster and in 1998 became research co-ordinator, helping, by 2001, to place the School in the top tier of Art and Design institutions in the UK. In 2002 she was appointed Head of the School of Art and Design. Her own research is in the field of contemporary art theory and has published numerous journal, magazine and catalogue essays, including the anthology Visibly Female in 1987, Feminism-Art-Theory 1968-2000 in 2001 and in 2006 Reading Art, Reading Irigaray: the Politics of Art by Women.
She is a board member of The Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, Quantum Theatre, Silver Eye, and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, as well as a member of the Programming Advisory Committee of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.