Leadership Bios

CalArts' President and Provost work in conjunction with the Institute's Board of Trustees, CalArts’ governing board.

President Ravi S. Rajan

Ravi S. Rajan is the fourth president of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Prior to joining the Institute in 2017, he lived and worked in New York City for 18 years. A teacher and leader with a reputation for developing innovative and visionary initiatives, he held various leadership roles at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY Purchase), and taught students at the Norman (Oklahoma) Public Schools, the University of Oklahoma, and Yale University.

While he plays the trumpet and holds degrees in music and education from Yale and the University of Oklahoma, his professional creative practice is as an artist, producer, and director of large-scale works. He has worked collaboratively on time-based, interactive, performance, and public work, developing projects that flow across disciplines. These works engaged various publics through biennales and festivals, and have been featured by institutions in more than 20 countries and on every continent except Antarctica.

Rajan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (UK) in 2010, has been a member of the TONY Awards Nominating Committee, was president of the Asian American Arts Alliance, and continues to serve on various boards and panels that support media, social justice, diversity, public policy, the arts, philanthropy, and education worldwide. 

In his time at CalArts, he led a two-year strategic visioning process that, in 2020, established a framework that lays out a map of the work that will take the Institute into its second half-century, built on a foundation of centering the educational experience, removing barriers to access, and shaping a sustainable future for CalArts.

He is married to Lucy Tucker Yates, who works in opera as a dramaturge, conductor, librettist, Italian specialist, translator, and coach. They have two children. 


(updated April 2023)
Photo credit: Rafael Hernandez/CalArts

CalArts President Ravi Rajan

Provost Tracie Costantino

Tracie Costantino earned her undergraduate degree in art history and Italian studies at Boston College and her master’s degree in art history from Brown University. In 2005 she completed her PhD in aesthetic education (curriculum and instruction) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before CalArts, Costantino served as the interim Provost, Dean of Faculty and Associate Provost of Teaching and Learning at RISD, and prior to RISD was on the faculty at the University of Georgia for nine years.

Her teaching abilities have been recognized through the Richard B. Russell Award for Undergraduate Teaching, the General Sandy Beaver Teaching Professorship and participation in the Lilly Teaching Fellows program at the University of Georgia. Costantino's research focuses on the nature of cognition in the arts, creativity, and the transformative potential of aesthetic experience as an educative event. Her interest in interdisciplinary curriculum, STEAM, and creative learning has been supported by two grants from the National Science Foundation. In addition to numerous published articles and book chapters, Costantino has co-edited two books on aesthetic education: Essays on Aesthetic Education for the 21st Century (Sense Publishers, 2010) and Aesthetics, Empathy, and Education (Peter Lang Publishers, 2013).

Provost Tracie Costantino