Maine College of Art Appoints Laura Freid as Next President

We welcome you to the presidential search website. This page was created to provide you with updates during the search process. MECA’s new President will be charged with leading the institution to new heights while advancing the mission of educating artists for life.


Located in the heart of the Portland Arts District, Maine College of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as Continuing Studies for adults and youths, including a Pre-College intensive for high school students.

Welcome From Presidential Search Chair, Brian Wilk ’95

Dear MECA Community,
As a proud trustee and alum, I am humbled and excited to lead the search committee for a new president of MECA. Over the past few months, the search committee has been actively engaged in selecting the right search firm to partner with while conducting a comprehensive assessment of the experience and qualifications needed to move this historic and influential institution forward.

We are pleased to partner with the highly regarded executive search firm, Korn Ferry, represented by Josh Ward and Co-Managing Director of Global Education Practice, Paul Chou.

In mid-fall 2016, the active search officially commences. Over the next few months, we will continue to generate interest in the position from qualified candidates from not only around the country, but around the world. Throughout Winter and early Spring, the Search Committee will continue to meet and engage with candidates. We hope to make a recommendation to MECA’s board of trustees and reach conclusion before the end of the Spring ’17.

We continue to be encouraged by the support of faculty, staff, students, and the greater MECA community and appreciate the input that has been shared with us over the course of this important process thus far.

The Presidential Search Committee thanks you again for your continued interest and engagement, and your commitment to the future of Maine College of Art.

Brian_Wilk-200x300If you have any feedback or input regarding specific qualities you believe we should be seeking in our candidates, we welcome your response.

Brian Wilk (Chair) ’95
Vice President, Hasbro, Inc.


Search Process

In September, the presidential search committee contracted with Paul Hsun-Ling Chou of the search firm Korn Ferry. Leveraging over three decades of professional experience as an academic, business professional, and search consultant at an international executive search firm, Mr. Chou brings a proven record of success and extensive knowledge about leadership to a broad range of not-for-profit clients regarding executive-level placements, succession planning, and leadership assessment.

Inquiries, nominations, candidate materials (CV and Cover Letter) may be directed to, in confidence.

Job Description
Search Commitee

Maine College of Art

Uniquely poised for a period of continued growth, Maine College of Art is the oldest and largest arts institution in the State of Maine. Founded in 1882 and located in the heart of Downtown Portland’s thriving Arts District, MECA offers a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) in 11 studio majors and five minors, an MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art), and an MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching). Pre-College and Continuing Studies programming are also offered for both adults and youths. The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA and the Joanne Waxman Library are free and open to the public.

Over the past six years, MECA has increased revenue by 39%, advanced annual fundraising efforts by 52%, grown enrollment every year, and increased selectivity. The College is notable not only for its fine education in the visual arts, but especially for its new programs in textile and fashion design and documentary studies (via acquisition of the SALT Institute). MECA’s new President will also be responsible for stewarding a $3 million dollar gift from the Crewe Foundation, the largest gift in the history of the 134 year-old institution, designed to introduce new programs including the first ever endowed professorship of art and music.

Rooted in the core values of artistic excellence, creative entrepreneurship, and civic engagement, the College places a great emphasis on the involvement of students in community life, and on preparation for working life after college, through a minor in Public Engagement and the “Artists at Work” program, and on the preparation of students for professional careers and lives as working artists after graduation.

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