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Susan Ruskin Appointed Dean of the AFI Conservatory

Richard Gladstein stepped down from the role last November

The American Film Institute (AFI) has appointed producer and educator Susan Ruskin as dean of the AFI Conservatory, AFI announced on Tuesday.

The former dean, Richard Gladstein, stepped down from the role in November. Vice dean of administration Michael Chung and vice dean of academic affairs Tom Engfer were serving as co-interim deans. Ruskin will carry the title of executive vice president.

“Susan is a bold and innovative educator with a clear passion for the future of the cinematic arts,”AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “As educators, we must be at the forefront of what is a revolutionary moment for our industry. Susan is a proven trailblazer in both the creative and academic communities, and we look forward to her leadership in charting a path for the future of the AFI Conservatory.”

Ruskin added: “It is an honor to join the leadership of AFI to chart a course for the future. In a world where moving images are the fabric of society, AFI’s role as a champion of exceptional storytellers is more vital than ever, and I look forward to leading the Conservatory in this transformative time, when increasingly new avenues and access allow its Fellows to express their unique and diverse vision in boundless ways.”

Ruskin comes to the AFI Conservatory from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she has served as dean of the School of Filmmaking since 2013. During her tenure, she founded a Media and Emerging Technology Lab, led the completion of a 30,000 square foot New Media Building and organized UNCSA’s first Future of Reality Summit. Previously, she served as chair of UNCSA’s Producing Faculty before becoming interim dean in 2012.

Her producing credits include “Anaconda” and “Haunted Honeymoon,” and she also served as president of production at Middle Fork Pictures/Cinema Line and Gene Wilder’s Pal-Mel Productions.

She also held the role of a creative executive at Lucasfilm Ltd.