Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) seeks an accomplished leader for the role of Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration (SVP).  Reporting directly to the President, the SVP will be the institution’s senior finance and administrative leader and will partner with the President, Provost and senior leaders to provide strategic fiscal and operational leadership across the school and ensure that planning, operational and budget activities support institutional goals.


The RISD Mission:

The mission of Rhode Island School of Design, through its college and museum, is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge, and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship, and innovation.

About RISD:

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design. RISD is recognized for its accomplished faculty of artists, designers, and scholars, the breadth of its specialized facilities, and its immersive approach to studio-based learning. Each year approximately 2,400 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors complemented and animated by essential study in the liberal arts.


The RISD Museum, with the third largest university museum collection in the country (approximately 100,000 works of fine
and decorative art), is an integral part of the institution and a resource for the larger community. The RISD Library was founded in 1878; its collections include more than 155,000 volumes and 320 periodical subscriptions (print) and offer unusual depth and richness in the areas of architecture, art, design and photography. The library is noted for its artist’s book collection, its rare books and outstanding visual and material resource collections.


For more information on the Rhode Island School of Design, visit


Candidate Profile:

Reporting to the President, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration is the chief fiscal and fiduciary officer.  Working in partnership with senior leadership and the Board of Trustees on financial planning, budget modeling, and major resource allocation matters across all areas of the school, the SVP will work collaboratively to oversee all finance, budget and treasury, campus services, public safety, integrated planning and institutional research, general counsel, technology, and human resource functions.  The selected candidate will build a dynamic, strategic, and integrated finance and administration structure that encourages collaboration, fosters innovation and provides leadership in the development and execution of strategies, approaches, and solutions to address both short and long-term complex, multi-factor, and intricate financial and operational issues of the institution. "The SVP will have oversight of six functional areas, including 10 direct reports, and have responsibility for a $60.1 million budget."



RISD seeks an individual with strong strategic communication and leadership capabilities who has the vision to anticipate and respond to the challenges and opportunities in higher education in general and art and design education in particular.  A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion and an ability to connect with others and cultivate relationships based on mutual trust and respect through active listening and direct dialogue are required. The SVP will operate with the highest levels of integrity, honesty, and transparency, and create strong and enduring collaborative relationships with leaders across the college as well as with faculty, staff and external constituencies. The SVP will serve as a key, trusted advisor to the President, the Board of Trustees, and to other senior leaders.



The successful candidate will be a person who leads with integrity and transparency.  The SVP will be a proven financial leader with a minimum of ten years of experience leading financial and administrative functions in complex organizations and creating and sustaining a culture of excellence and accountability. The SVP will have strong financial and business skills, will be a savvy and insightful partner, and will have the demonstrated ability to work in a mission-driven environment where excellence, creativity and innovation are the norm. The SVP must have an established record of visionary and proactive approaches to complex financial management, comprehensive problem solving, and relationship building. Superb communication and collaboration skills are paramount. 

A Bachelor’s degree is required, and a MBA or related Master’s degree preferred.


RISD has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume to Liz Neumann, Amy Sugin, and Kristine O’Brien here.

Rhode Island School of Design recognizes diversity and inclusivity as fundamental to its learning community and integral to and art and design education. RISD welcomes candidates whose experience in leadership and higher education has prepared them to contribute to our commitment to diversity and excellence. RISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetics, or any other protected characteristic as established by law.