presidential search

  • /uploadedImages/RISD_edu/new_about/presidential_search/presidential-search-hero.jpg?n=5547
  • “We are committed to the principles of transparency of process, open communication and inclusivity in conducting the search.” —– Michael Spalter, Board of Trustees chair

  • Overview

    Rhode Island School of Design has officially launched an international search for its next president. The process is being led by a core search committee consisting of 11 members chosen to reflect the key facets of the RISD community (committee charge).

    The work of the core committee is supported by the search firm Isaacson, Miller and eight advisory groups organized around key themes that emerged from the Board of Trustees’ “community listening tour” and consultations with key constituencies at RISD. During the search process, the core committee will call upon the advisory groups or their individual members as needed to draw on their knowledge and expertise and maintain ongoing, two-way communication with this broader group of stakeholders. In addition, nominations and feedback from the community are welcome.

    RISD will share progress on the search process on this site, so please check back often to find out where we are as we work to identify the best possible person to lead one of the most well-respected colleges of art and design in the world.


  • /uploadedImages/RISD_edu/new_about/presidential_search/Pres Search Timeline_Jan21_preliminary-interviews.png
  • Updates

    The latest news and updates are available here as we move through the search process.

    JANUARY 20, 2015 After assembling a sizable list of strong candidates, the search committee has begun conducting preliminary interviews.

    SEPTEMBER 24, 2014  A comprehensive position profile has been completed and is available for candidates and interested parties to review and consider.

    AUGUST 7, 2014  Advisory Groups and their leaders are announced.

    MAY 20, 2014  At its final meeting of the academic year, the Board of Trustees officially initiated the search for RISD’s next president.

  • /uploadedImages/RISD_edu/new_about/presidential_search/herosearchprofile.png?n=857
  • Core Search Committee

    The members of the core search committee have been selected to reflect the diverse interests and voices of the RISD community. The core committee is led by three trustees serving as co-chairs, along with two additional trustees, two full-time faculty members, one part-time faculty member (the first ever for a RISD presidential search), one staff member, one member of the Museum Board of Governors and one member of the local community. Among these same members are a RISD parent, several alumni, practicing artists and designers, faculty from a broad range of disciplines, stewards and supporters of the Museum, successful business people and entrepreneurs, a RISD union president, members of the Providence and Rhode Island communities, a former Board chair, and a member of RISD’s founding family.

    Core committee co-chairs:

    Jon Kamen 
    trustee, RISD parent + chairman/ceo, RadicalMedia 

    Lisa Pevaroff-Cohn [83 TX]
    trustee, Board vice chair + artist 

    Jeff Yan [BArch 01]
    trustee, Alumni Council president + co-founder/ceo, Digication 

    Core committee members: 

    Brian Callahan [BArch 00]
    Museum Board of Governors + director of design, MacAndrews and Forbes 

    Bunny Fain
    community representative, former RISD Board chair, honorary trustee, Museum Board of Governors Fine Arts Committee member + artist 

    Scheri Fultineer
    associate professor, department head + graduate program director, Landscape Architecture 

    Abraham Lugo
    president, RISD Public Safety Officers’ Association 

    Stephen Metcalf
    trustee, Museum Board of Governors + artist 

    Susan Sklarek [MFA 78 SC]
    senior critic, Textiles 

    Susan Ward
    professor, History of Art + Visual Culture 

    Maggie Williams
    trustee + founding partner, GriffinWilliams

    Trustee alternate:

    John Beug
    trustee, RISD parent + music video, documentary and film producer

  • Advisory Groups

    Eight advisory groups have been charged with focusing on specific aspects of the search or constituencies within the RISD community. The members are listed within each of the following groups:

    faculty + art + design expertise staff + administrative experience advisory group institutional engagement advisory group leadership advisory group
    students alumni museum parents


  • Search Firm

    Isaacson, Miller recruits transformative leaders for education, healthcare, philanthropy, advocacy and other endeavors that advance the public good. With approximately 140 employees in the Boston headquarters and in offices in Washington, DC and San Francisco, IM completes more than 200 searches each year. Most of its clients are not-for-profit organizations such as leading colleges and universities, foundations, human service agencies, environmental organizations, economic and community development organizations, arts and cultural groups, and social justice and other national advocacy organizations.

  • The search committee welcomes nominations from the community. Please indicate why you think the person you nominate would be an exceptionally good fit for RISD.

    Nominate a candidate