CCA appoints Nicolas Elsishans as chief financial officer

San Francisco, CA—February 14, 2022—California College of the Arts (CCA) President Stephen Beal announced Nicolas Elsishans as chief financial officer, effective February 28.

Elsishans brings a career-long dedication to the financial and operational advancement of large Bay Area nonprofits, most recently serving for 10 years as Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco. In that role, he oversaw the organization’s $72 million operating budget, and was responsible for all business and finance operations, as well as supervision of human resources, administration, and information technology operations. In addition, he provided budgetary oversight for large capital projects, including construction, renovation, maintenance, and conservation of new and historic park properties.

Prior to that, he held the position of Chief Financial Officer for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he oversaw the museums’ $68 million annual operating budget and foundation’s invested assets of $260 million, and was closely involved in the organization’s negotiations and compliance with collective bargaining agreements.

“Nicolas brings an impressive portfolio of knowledge and experience to CCA, and I’m looking forward to working with him as a strategic partner as we continue our project to build an innovative, residential campus that looks to the future of arts and design education,” said Beal. “His deep ties to San Francisco, involvement with the Bay Area cultural community, and accomplishments in his roles as chief financial officer for other large, complex nonprofits that are central to the Bay Area community make him the ideal person to join CCA’s leadership team.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Nicolas to the CCA senior management team,” said CCA Board Chair Lorna Meyer Calas. “He has the financial and business leadership skills we need to continue to enhance the educational experience for our students as we consolidate our campus in San Francisco and embark on a very exciting time for the college.”

“I am delighted to join the CCA community of students, faculty, staff, and trustees as the organization’s new Chief Financial Officer,” said Elsishans. “I am truly honored to come on at this important time and look forward to building with you all the next successful chapters in the long and incredible history of CCA!”

Elsishans joins the college at an important time, as it welcomes students, faculty, and staff fully back to campus after nearly two years of disruptions from the pandemic, and prepares to begin construction on the long-anticipated expansion of its San Francisco campus in the heart of the city’s vibrant design district.

About California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

CCA offers a rich curriculum of 23 undergraduate and 11 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is among the 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CCA as one of the top 10 graduate schools for fine arts in the country.

Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others.

CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.

Media contact

Portrait of David Owens-Hill.

David Owens-Hill

Director of Communications

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