CCA appoints Julie Lythcott-Haims and Abby Sadin Schnair to Board of Trustees

San Francisco, CA—October 21, 2021—California College of the Arts announces the appointments of Julie Lythcott-Haims and Abby Sadin Schnair to the Board of Trustees for an initial three-year term.

“Julie and Abby will elevate CCA’s Board of Trustees in numerous ways and I am delighted to welcome them,” says Board Chair Lorna Meyer. “They both have in-depth expertise and experience that will be so important to the college—Julie as an author and graduate of CCA’s MFA Writing program, and Abby as a longtime architectural photographer with deep experience serving on boards. They’ll bring valuable perspectives to CCA’s board from their own careers as artists and creative makers.”

“I’m deeply grateful to CCA for guiding me toward the identity and life I now inhabit as ‘author,’” says Lythcott-Haims. “It's an honor to be called home, so to speak, by my alma mater with the invitation to join the Board. I hope to be able to be of good use to a community and institution that I adore.”

“I have been involved in the arts and arts education both as an artist and an active volunteer throughout my life,” says Sadin Schnair. “For me, joining the CCA Board is a culmination of my passions intersecting with the dynamic future of CCA.”

“Julie’s and Abby’s dedication to arts education and their excitement about CCA is energizing,” says Stephen Beal, CCA president. “I know they’ll have a deep impact on the CCA community as they join the board at a pivotal moment for the college.”

Book cover for Your Turn: How to Be an Adult by CCA alum Julie Lythcott-Haims.

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in us as humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. Her work encompasses writing, speaking, teaching, mentoring, and activism.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, which gave rise to a popular TED Talk. Her second book is the critically acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experiences as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. Her third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, has been called a “groundbreakingly frank” guide to adulthood.

Lythcott-Haims holds degrees from Stanford University, Harvard Law School, and California College of the Arts. Shecurrently serves on the boards of Common Sense Media, Black Women’s Health Imperative, and Narrative Magazine. She serves on the advisory boards of LeanIn.Org, Parents magazine, and Baldwin for the Arts.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother.

Abby Sadin Schnair

Abby Sadin Schnair

Abby Sadin Schnair

Abby Sadin Schnair is an architectural photographer with over 40 years of experience. Her photography has been published in Architect Magazine, Architectural Digest, and Architectural Record. She has exhibited her work at various galleries and museums.

After receiving her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Schnair co-founded the first women-owned professional architectural photography studio in Chicago. For 16 years she photographed architecture and interiors for a national and international clientele. In 1994, Schnair relocated to San Francisco, where she consulted for the design community in digital imaging. Schnair transitioned from her consulting practice in 2005 to focus full-time on her own fine art photography and community involvement in the arts.

Schnair was appointed to the San Francisco Arts Commission in 2013. She has served on the board of the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) since 2006 and is past chair of the A.C.T. MFA Conservatory board; she recently stepped down and was elected to the Emeritus Board. Her past nonprofit leadership includes serving on the boards of Drew School in San Francisco, Mary Meyer School and LaSalle Language Academy in Chicago, and Parent’s Coalition of Bay Area High Schools.

Schnair is married to Gene Schnair, an architect, and they have two grown children involved in the arts—a musician and a poet and educator. Schnair’s son and daughter-in-law are alumni of graduate programs at CCA.

Media contact

Portrait of David Owens-Hill.

David Owens-Hill

Director of Communications

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