LCAD appoints Steven J. Brittan as its 14th president

Laguna College of Art and Design named Steven J. Brittan as  14th president of the college.
Steven J. Brittan, the 14th president of Laguna College of Art and Design, has over 30 years of professional experience in art and design.
(Courtesy of Laguna College of Art and Design)
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Laguna College of Art and Design announced Monday that Steven J. Brittan has been named the next president of the college.

Brittan, who will be joining the campus community in September, comes to the local arts institution after spending the past five years as president of Studio Arts College International in Florence, Italy, where he had previously been a student and then a teacher and a board member.

“I believe in the power of artists and designers to change the world and make a positive contribution to society by tying together threads of innovation in different disciplines,” Brittan said in a news release. “Creative problem solving is particularly important in these challenging times with global climate change and the global pandemic. The educational environment must reflect an ecosystem of diversity, equity and inclusion for true creativity, productivity and positive change to coexist.


“LCAD is an extraordinary place of learning that prepares artists and designers with the know-how, critical skills and integrity to connect and engage more effectively with the professional workplace. I am excited to propel the successes of the exceptional and committed LCAD faculty, staff and students.”

The Laguna College of Art and Design in Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Brittan holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Cape Town. He went on to earn a master’s degree in the same subject from Harvard. He has been an assistant professor at Harvard, Columbia University and Rhode Island School of Design.

He succeeds Jonathan Burke, who retired as president of the college at the end of last year. Burke was subsequently honored by the institution when it was decided that the fine arts department would be named after him.

Brittan comes to LCAD with over 30 years of professional experience in art and design, which has seen him serve as principal to the architectural firms Burt Hill, Stantec and Sasaki.

“Steve is an intentional leader with a commitment to positioning education for social good and leveraging the full potential of creative intelligence,” Terry Jones, chairman of the LCAD Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “We engaged in an intensive global search for the role, finding several qualified, talented individuals.

“But Steve stood out among the others for his breadth and depth of experience, as well as his compatibility with LCAD’s institutional values and artistic identity.”

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