John Maeda leaves Rhode Island School of Design for Silicon Valley

Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda is leaving to join Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers as design partner.

John Maeda

KPCB invests in a number of companies including Shazam and Twitter.  Maeda’s new role will see him work with KPCB’s investment portfolio to ‘help them build design DNA into their company cultures’.

Maeda will also chair the eBay Design Advisory Board, working with the company to evolve its design capabilities.

Maeda has been president of RISD since 2008, and prior to that was professor and associate director of research at MIT Media Lab.

During his time at RISD, Maeda has led a drive to have the arts included alongside STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in US education. Under his leadership, RISD was ranked as the number one design school in the world by Business Insider.

Maeda says, ‘I am passionate about revealing art and design’s role in innovation, and this next step represented irresistible pathways to strengthen design’s place in the digital age.

‘At the same time, I feel privileged to have led this amazing community, and I know that I will leave RISD as the best design school in the world and with every opportunity that it will be even better in the years to come.’

RISD ‘will take the appropriate next steps to ensure a smooth and orderly transition’, according to RISD Board of Trustees chairman Michael Spalter.

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