Since coming to RISD in 2008, Babette Allina has combined her experience as an artist with her background in public policy to advance the national agenda for STEAM – adding art to the national emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by raising awareness of the power of art and design to transform education, research and workforce development.
As executive director of Government Relations + External Affairs, Allina serves as RISD's primary liaison with governmental and other external partners, including leaders in the city of Providence, at the Rhode Island State House and in the US Congress. She also works closely with students interested in issues of public policy, helping them learn to harness their creative abilities to enhance communication and connect with decision-makers.
Prior to RISD, Allina focused on developing funding for large-scale life sciences research at the University of Rhode Island, working with such federal agencies as the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and Department of Energy. In her artwork, she explores the intersection of art and science – most recently by visualizing the efficacy of pharmaceutical inhibitors to arrest bacterial growth.
Allina earned a BA in Politics and Painting from Bennington College and an MA in Political Science from the University of Rhode Island.