Producer and educator Susan Ruskin has been named the dean of AFI Conservatory, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. She will lead its graduate film-training program and also is set as EVP of the American Film Institute, reporting to AFI President and CEO Bob Gazzale.
“Susan is a bold and innovative educator with a clear passion for the future of the cinematic arts,” 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 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. Previously, she served as Chair of UNCSA’s Producing Faculty before becoming Interim Dean in 2012. She also was a producer on the features Anaconda and Haunted Honeymoon, was President of Production at Middle Fork Pictures/Cinema Line and Gene Wilder’s Pal-Mel Produtions, and was a Creative Executive at Lucasfilm Ltd.
“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,” Ruskin said, “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.”