San Francisco, CA—Thursday, May 20, 2021—California College of the Arts announces the appointments of Aaron Gensler and CCA alum Carina Wong (MBA Design Strategy 2019) to the Board of Trustees for an initial three-year term.
Aaron Gensler is a licensed architect, award-winning designer, educator, and artist working throughout California. She co-formed GenslerClipp, an architecture, design, and research practice based in Southern California. Prior to GenslerClipp, she held design positions at a variety of firms around the world—from Los Angeles to Rwanda. She teaches and is the assistant chair of architecture at Woodbury University.
Gensler earned a bachelor of arts from Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was honored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art, Chellis House, and the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her work. She holds a master of architecture from Cornell University, where she was honored with the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for her leadership and service and, more recently, completed an Eidlitz Travel Fellowship awarded through Cornell University’s College of Art, Architecture, and Planning.
Carina Wong is a senior advisor for innovation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Wong has managed a variety of education portfolios, including efforts to develop and scale a set of teacher-developed literacy and math tools; investments focused on redesigning professional development systems in districts; and efforts to scale effective practices through teacher leaders and their networks. Her current portfolio is focused on launching new initiatives and building cross-cutting teams focused on innovation and scale. She’s intentional about gathering insights from those most proximate to the problem and using those insights to inform the strategies she leads and improve the impact and sustainability of the investments she makes.
Wong has worked in education policy and workforce development for over two decades at the national, state, and local levels. She is passionate about the arts and feeding children local and organic foods. She led the Chez Panisse Foundation, started by chef and author Alice Waters, where she launched the School Lunch Initiative and managed The Edible Schoolyard Project. She is a former trustee of the Oakland Museum of California and was on the school boards of the Lighthouse Community Schools and Yu Ming Charter School. She has a bachelor of science in foreign service from Georgetown University, a master in education policy and administration from Stanford University, and a master of business administration in design from California College of the Arts. She has taught abroad and is a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and the mother of three young children.
“Aaron and Carina bring a wealth of experience and expertise to CCA’s Board of Trustees,” says President Stephen Beal. “Aaron’s energy and passion for CCA channels her grandfather’s—the late Board Chair Arthur Gensler, who we recently lost—and her background as an architect and educator are invaluable. As a recent CCA alum, Carina’s personal perspective and wisdom make her an excellent addition to the Board. I’m looking forward to working with them both.”
“With Aaron and Carina’s impressive accomplishments and backgrounds in education and the arts, I’m confident that they’ll have a positive impact on CCA and our global community,” says Susan M. Cummins, vice-chair of the board. “I’m thrilled they’re joining us on CCA’s Board of Trustees.”
“It’s an honor to be asked to serve on the Board of an institution that you graduated from,” says Wong. “CCA represents more than an institution to me—it’s a community committed to intellectual curiosity, supporting the creative arts, and fostering the next generation of leaders who will design for a better world. During times like these we need creative leaders and often need the arts to help us understand and make sense of the world around us. I’m so thrilled to be part of a community that is nurturing what the Bay Area, California, and the world need now.”
“As the world evolves at an increasingly parabolic rate, I am profoundly excited to serve on board of CCA at the institution’s current pivot point,” says Gensler. “The complex issues on our collective horizon will necessitate the careful, considered solutions that have so often been found in the creative thought and system-building in art and design education. I am honored to lend myself to the tasks at hand at CCA in the company of so many exceptional thought leaders and educators.”