PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda announced in a video message to the RISD community last week that he will resign at the end of the fall semester to accept a position at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
During his nearly six-year tenure, RISD was ranked the No. 1 Design School in the World in Business Insider’s 2012 survey. Maeda prioritized fundraising for scholarships and academic programs, allowing nearly three-quarters of accepted freshman to receive financial-aid packages in 2013 compared with one-third in 2011.
In his video announcement, Maeda said the courage and rigor displayed by RISD students inspired him to accept a position as a design partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
In his new role at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Maeda will lend his more than 20 years of experience in design to help the firm’s entrepreneurs incorporate design into their company cultures. He will also chair the newly created eBay Design Advisory Board, where he will report to eBay CEO John Donahoe, according to a company news release.
Before assuming the RISD presidency in 2008, Maeda served as associate director of research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab. He also has been a practicing designer since 1990, and his early work in digital-media design is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. •