Interim president Rosanne Somerson named president at Rhode Island School of Design

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — Trustees at the Rhode Island School of Design have tapped interim president Rosanne Somerson to serve as the school's 17th president.

The prestigious art and design school announced the appointment Wednesday.

The board began an international search after John Maeda left the post in late 2013.

Somerson is a RISD graduate who had a successful career as a furniture designer before returning as a faculty member in 1985. She served as provost before being named interim president. The school says she worked on a campus master plan, advanced academic programs and led fundraising efforts during the past year.

Trustees' board Chairman Michael Spalter says no other candidate could match Somerson's understanding of the institution.

Somerson says she's honored to lead RISD and build on its legacy.

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