Ravi S. Rajan, CalArts President

Ravi S. Rajan is the newly appointed president of the California Institute of the Arts, and is the 4th president in the Institute’s history. A highly regarded artist and musician whose work reaches across disciplines, Ravi is also an accomplished teacher and academic administrator with a reputation for innovative and visionary leadership.

As a designer and producer, Ravi works on collaborative projects that focus on creating an immersive experience for the audience, crossing many media including music, architecture, photography, film/video, drama, and performance, and by working with artists, choreographers, directors, playwrights, theaters, museums, and galleries around the world. His recent collaborations have been seen at the Whitney Museum of Art, the São Paulo Biennial and Venice Biennale, and have shown at major venues for art, dance, music, and theatre in cities such as, Basel, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Helsinki, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, New York, Paris, Santiago, Tokyo, and Warsaw. Originally trained as a musician, Ravi has played and conducted for various productions, including Broadway shows, regional theaters, recordings, events, orchestras, and chamber groups, and has commissioned new collaborative works.


Before CalArts, Ravi worked at Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY Purchase) in a number of administrative roles, including as Director of Art+Design, and culminating with his service as Dean of the School of the Arts. Prior to Purchase, he taught students from kindergarten through university at various institutions and worked with Nobel Prize-winning scientists on multimedia projects at The Rockefeller University.

Ravi has degrees from Yale University and the University of Oklahoma and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (UK) in 2010. He is on the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance, and recently served as a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee. He is involved in various service organizations for the arts, diversity, and higher education worldwide. He is married to Lucy Tucker Yates, a renowned opera vocal and diction coach, and they have two young sons, ages 4 and 7.