Ryan French has joined the Walker Art Center staff as Director of Marketing and Public Relations, succeeding Phillip Bahar, who was recently promoted to Chief of Operations and Administration. French oversees the Walker’s strategic communications for its diverse multidisciplinary programs in the visual, performing, and media arts.
Prior to his arrival in October, French was Director of Corporate Relations at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, where he engaged many local and national corporations in school activities, and secured funding for strategic priorities and capital campaigns. In addition, during a three-year tenure at the business school, he served as Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, a period marked by a tripling of annual fund revenue and record alumni participation. Prior to that he was Director of Marketing and Business Development at Meld, a national nonprofit specializing in parent education for teens and immigrants (2004–2005), and Associate Director of Marketing and E-Commerce at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (2000–2003).
French received an MBA from the Carlson School and a BA in music from St. Olaf College. He sings with the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, a group acclaimed for its innovative explorations of new choral music; mentors students; and runs marathons.