RISD’s President Elect

Rhode Island School of Design is pleased to announce the appointment of Crystal Williams as its 18th president. Selected after an international search for a leader with the capability and passion to educate artists, designers and scholars for a rapidly changing future, Williams has the global vision to guide RISD’s role in helping to create a more just, fair and sustainable society. She will be stepping into the position on April 1, 2022.

Get to know President-Elect Williams

Williams comes to RISD with over two decades of experience in higher education. An accomplished leader, community builder and collaborator, she focuses on ensuring that institutions are more effective, mission-aligned and inclusive. As an educator and a poet, she works to advance artistic inquiry and engagement.

The search process

We’d like to acknowledge the dedication of our presidential search committee, made up of faculty, staff, alumni, parents, members of the Board of Trustees and an 11-member student advisory council. Learn more about their work and the involvement of the wider RISD community throughout the search for the college’s 18th president.

Press release

RISD’s Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Crystal Williams as the school’s 18th president. Read the official announcement of her presidency, including thoughts from Board Chair Michael Spalter and search committee co-chairs Hillary Blumberg 92 FAV, Ilene Chaiken 79 GD/P 18, Karen Hammond and Tavares Strachan 03 GL.

“I think there’s been so much good, important and essential work that’s happened at RISD to get us to this point. The opportunity that I see is that we push forward and bring into fuller realization the vision that this art and design school becomes radically inclusive.”

PRESIDENT-ELECT WILLIAMS
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