Placed Leaders

Christopher Robbins

Founding Director, School of the Arts

Binghamton University

We partnered with Binghamton University on the search for a Founding Director of the School of the Arts. The search resulted in the recruitment of Christopher Robbins to the role.

Christopher Robbins (he/him) is an artist, educator, and community organizer who has lived and worked in New York, London, Tokyo, West Africa, Fiji, and former Yugoslavia.

His work spans several fields, including art and academic (Rhode Island School of Design, Purchase College SUNY, University of the South Pacific – Fiji), non-profit (Peace Corps, Museum for Africa Art), and corporate (Union Bank of Switzerland, Reuters). 

He currently serves as the Director of the School of Art+Design at Purchase College SUNY, where he oversees educational, budgetary, and administrative affairs, including hiring, management, admissions, recruitment, and retention. 

Over the past twenty years, he has taught at Purchase College SUNY, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the University of the South Pacific – Fiji.

His fundraising experience includes major foundations (Kresge, Knight), government (US State Department, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Michigan Economic Development Corporation), corporate (DTE Energy, Silman), inter-governmental (European Union, United Nations), arts and urban development (Creative Capital, Van Allen Institute), as well as individual donors – both domestic and international.

In 2006, he co-founded the Ghana ThinkTank, an international art collaboration in which a network of think tanks in countries including Cuba, Ghana, Iran, and Mexico solve problems in the so-called “developed” world. The project flips traditional power dynamics, challenges assumptions about who is in need, and centers marginalized voices.

His work with Ghana ThinkTank has been featured in major international exhibitions including the Venice Biennial of Architecture, National Museum of Wales, Hong Kong/Shenzhen Biennale, and ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe, Germany.  He has been awarded residencies from Skowhegan, MacDowell Colony, Haystack, Penland and Anderson Ranch, and spoke at the Creative Time summit, among others.

His terminal degree is an MFA in Digital+Media from RISD, and a BA from the University of Virginia in Psychology and Asian Studies.