John Maeda is an American designer, technologist and catalyst behind the national movement to transform STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to STEAM. He served as the 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where, as chief executive, he repositioned the esteemed and historic institution to regain its top position in the new economy. An internationally recognized thought leader at the intersection of design and technology, Maeda now works with early-, mid- and late-stage start-up CEOs as Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Silicon Valley.
While the Web was being built in the 1990s, Maeda led a research team at the MIT Media Lab to connect design with computer science. It was there that he fostered the first generation of engineers who could elegantly design, and designers who could fluently code. His early work for print and the computer was accessioned into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. In recognition of his career-spanning efforts to bridge design, computer science and business, Esquire named Maeda as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.
A celebrated author, his books include The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code, and Redesigning Leadership, which expands on his Twitter feed @johnmaeda, one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.
Maeda received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has an MBA from Arizona State University and a PhD from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He’s been awarded honorary PhD degrees in Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and Simon Fraser University.
Having formally or informally advised hundreds of companies over the course of his career, John currently serves on the Board of Directors for Sonos and Wieden+Kennedy, and is a member of the Technical Advisory Board for Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects Group and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Growth Models.