Press Releases


Pam Rorke Levy to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees of San Francisco Art Institute

(San Francisco, CA, September 19, 2018) — The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) announces the appointment of Pam Rorke Levy as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Levy, who has been a member of the Board since 2013, assumed her new role in July 2018, ahead of the September start of the current academic year.

“SFAI is now the only free-standing college in the United States dedicated entirely to the teaching, understanding, and practice of contemporary fine art, and I am honored to steward this critically important institution into its exciting future together with my fellow Trustees,” says Levy. “We will commit ourselves once again to providing the best arts education in the world, and it will be our job to decide what that means in 2018, when freedom of speech and expression are openly under attack in our country; what it will mean in 2021, on SFAI’s 150th anniversary; and what it might mean five or ten or twenty years from now, for new generations of artists.”

Adds SFAI President Gordon Knox, “I’m thrilled to partner with Pam, whose astute leadership, trail-blazing spirit and collaborative instincts make her an ideal Chair of this venerable, maverick institution. She understands the enduring and transformative power of art, and will be an impassioned ambassador as we work to place radical fine arts education at the center of the Bay Area’s cultural resiliency and societal impact.”

During her five years on the SFAI Board, Levy has served on the Development Committee, the Committee on Governance and Trustees, and the President Search Committee resulting in Knox’s appointment. She also spearheaded the launch of SFAI’s new Fort Mason Campus in Fall 2017 with an Opening Spectacle event that welcomed 4,000 people.

Levy grew up in a family of designers, architects, and artists, and much of her professional life has been focused in the arts. She studied Art History at Swarthmore College, and museum curatorship in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Since earning her graduate degree at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, Levy has written, produced, and directed a wide range of films and TV programs, many on subjects at the intersection of art, culture, and history. She created and produced the first three seasons of SPARK, the multi-platform arts program on KQED, along with documentaries and series for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, PBS, The Contemporary Jewish Museum and others. For the past twenty-five years Levy has also worked as a Creative Director and Writer on high stakes global events and campaigns for Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco, Intel, HP Software, NetApp, Seagate, Symantec and other leading technology companies. She has served on the boards of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, the Bay Area Video Coalition, and Z Space Studio. Both of her daughters are working artists and graduates of San Francisco’s School of the Arts.

Levy is also an avid and decorated sailor; with her husband Matt Brooks she restored and now races the legendary 1930 ocean racing sailboat Dorade, earning podium finishes in open ocean races around the world.


Founded in 1871, SFAI is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in the practice and study of contemporary art. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, SFAI provides students with a rigorous education in the arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts and art history curriculum, and critical engagement with the world. Committed to educating artists who will shape the future of art, culture, and society, SFAI fosters creativity and original thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary context.

Nina Sazevich
Public Relations