Zilly was elected to the College's Board of Trustees in 2005 and was named chair in 2012. Under her leadership, Connecticut College opened a state-of-the-art science center, built the Zachs Hillel house, created the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement, and reopened the Charles E. Shain Library after a transformational renovation. The College also launched Connections, a reinvention of the liberal arts. Prior to becoming chair, Zilly served as chair of the Finance Committee and led the 2012-13 Presidential Search Committee.
Zilly retired as a senior managing director in the restructuring and reorganization advisory group at The Blackstone Group L.P. in 2009. At Blackstone, Zilly provided financial advisory services to companies in need of capital or operational restructurings, often in a bankruptcy proceeding, or to creditors of such companies. Prior to joining Blackstone in 1991, she worked for three years at Chemical Bank. Zilly began her career in investment banking at E.F. Hutton in 1977. An active supporter of the performing arts, Zilly joined the board of the American Theatre Wing in 2012, and currently serves as a vice-chair. She previously served as a trustee of the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, and as a member of the business advisory board of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Zilly majored in economics and American history at Connecticut College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude and with distinction in the major. She was awarded the Ann Corbett DeVille Memorial Prize for Outstanding Work in American History. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in industrial administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
"Now is a time to be bold in our aspirations for Connecticut College," said Zilly. "I look forward to my continued involvement in supporting the exemplary liberal arts education that the College provides."