July 2, 2018

Board of Trustees elects new members

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Photo: Jo Sittenfeld, RISD.

Ilene Chaiken, Caroline Baumann, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to serve as Term Trustees; Michael Rock, Stephen Metcalf named Ex Officio Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is proud to announce the election of Ilene Chaiken, Caroline Baumann and Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to its Board of Trustees. Each of the new trustees will serve a three-year term through May 2021.

“Our new trustees bring a deep commitment, as well as a diverse range of talents, experience and expertise,” said RISD Board Chair Michael Spalter (RISD Parent 22). “The Board is thrilled to welcome them to RISD and looks forward to the ways they will celebrate and advance our magical institution alongside visionary President Rosanne Somerson. We thank them for taking on this new role in service to RISD.”

The experiences and accomplishments of RISD’s new Term Trustees include:

Best known for creating the Showtime series The L Word, RISD alumna Ilene Chaiken (Graphic Design 79/RISD Parent 18) recently earned an Emmy, among many other awards, for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She was also showrunner for the first four seasons of the Golden Globe-nominated Fox series Empire. As an executive producer, Chaiken is still closely involved with these projects and is also developing several new projects for 20th Century Fox Television’s broadcast, cable and television streaming services. In the past, she produced the docu-dramas The Real L Word and The Real L Word Mississippi for Showtime and earned the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary for the latter.

As director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Caroline Baumann spearheaded the museum’s most ambitious capital campaign to date. She also led the recent renovation and expansion of the museum’s home in the historic landmark Carnegie Mansion on New York City’s Museum Mile, transforming it into a dynamic, global resource for building the public’s understanding of design, drawing on the more than 210,000 objects in the museum’s permanent collection. The reimagined Cooper Hewitt features exhibitions that travel the world, groundbreaking interactive museum technologies and a free national design education program for K–12 students. Baumann is a member of the Applied Arts and Design Museum Network, the Royal College of Art USA Board, and the NYCxDesign Steering Committee. In 2015, she was named one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. She served as a panelist for the 2017 US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale and, most recently, was awarded the rank of Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is chair of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute and Qatar Leadership. Committed to investing in Qatar’s local community and celebrating its diversity, she uses the visual arts as a catalyst for social development, economic growth and cultural exchange. Her Excellency recognizes a similarity of purpose between her existing commitments and RISD, with its close relationship between the College and the RISD Museum, and wishes to join in encouraging this connection between the arts and education.

The Trustees are also pleased to announced that current RISD Trustee Board Chair Michael Spalter, re-elected by unanimous vote, will continue his service as chair through May 2021. In addition, RISD alumnus Michael Rock MFA (Graphic Design 84) was appointed to represent the President’s Advisory Alumni Council on the Board in an ex officio role and Stephen Metcalf, long-serving RISD Board member and descendant of RISD’s founding family, was named chair of the Emeriti Trustees.

More information on RISD’s Board of Trustees can be found here.

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