Rhode Island School of Design's Board of Trustees Elects New Board Members

June 3, 2015

At its spring meeting (May 28–29), the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Board of Trustees elected two new members to join its 24-member oversight group, serving three-year terms effective immediately. Amita Chatterjee[BFA 77], an art collector and artist, and Karen Hammond, a leader in the financial services industry, have both accepted appointments to the Board and will serve through May 2018.

An art collector and artist, Chatterjee explores many mediums, including weaving, painting, interiors and architectural design. She currently works in digital media, using photographs captured during her travels around the globe: each of her pieces consists of layers of images that are merged, painted, enhanced and erased through a series of iterations until the most complete and compelling story emerges. Her work has been exhibited through the Indo-American Arts Council in New York. Chatterjee and her husband are founding members of the Asia Society-India Centre’s Board of Directors and she currently serves on the Board of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Chatterjee previously served on the Board of the Brearley School.

Hammond has served in a range of leadership positions in the financial services industry. After assuming her most recent position in 2007 as managing director at Devonshire Investors, the private equity group within Fidelity Investments, she retired at the end of 2013. From 1993 to 2007, Hammond worked in various roles at Fidelity Investments, including Corporate Treasurer of FMR Corp, Senior Vice President - Investments and Chief Administrative Officer in Equity Research for Fidelity Management & Research Company. Prior to joining Fidelity, she was Treasurer and CFO at The Boston Five (1984–93), and a trust officer at Bank of New England. A CFA and member of the Association of Investment Management and Research, Hammond currently serves on the boards of Simmons College, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, International Institute of New England, Moses Brown School and CYS Investments, Inc.

At its May meeting, the Board also voted to elect long-serving trustee and past Chair Merrill Sherman an honorary trustee in recognition of her exemplary service. A member of the Board for 15 years, Sherman served as secretary from 2002–04, vice chair from 2004–06, and chair from 2007–12 and was bestowed the title chair emerita in 2012.

In addition, the Board elected Trustee Maggie Williams as vice chair. Williams is the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Michael Neff [BFA 04] will also join the Board as an ex-officio trustee when he assumes his new role as president of RISD’s Alumni Council on July 1.

At the meeting trustees also expressed their appreciation for the contributions of five members completing their service to the Board - Michael Allen [BArch 82], Amy Korenvaes [BFA 74], Meghan Michaud [BFA 01], Susan Montgomery [BFA 71] and Peter Stein.

“The Board is thrilled thrilled to welcome Amita and Karen as our newest trustees, and we are grateful to Maggie for stepping up to the position of vice chair,” notes RISD Board Chair Michael Spalter. “We are also pleased that we recognized Merrill’s long and distinguished tenure, and the Board is deeply indebted to Michael, Amy, Meghan, Susan and Peter for their dedication and service. We are lucky to have such outstanding people helping to keep RISD at the forefront of art and design education.”