Donn Harris


San Francisco State University

Field of Study


Current Research Projects

Individual scholar just retired from education administration. Interested in organizational psychology, creativity in and out of the arts, and the subtle reasons behind behavior that are rarely examined.

Books/Papers Authored

Standing Here Alive
Next Time, No Regrets
Brother Leper
Everyone Under the Bus

(available on

essays on or

Current Employment

Freelance Writer

Previous Employment

Chair, California Arts Council, 2015-2018, current member through 2021

Executive Director, Creativity and the Arts, SF Unified Schools, retired 2019

Executive and Artistic Director, Oakland School for the Arts, 2007-2016


Born in NYC, moved to LA as a teenager, somehow scraped my way through college as a theater major, did not become Jack Nicholson. Became a teacher, then a Dean, a school principal, an Exec. Director of arts schools in the SF Bay Area. Chaired the California Arts Council from 2015-2018, dispensing $20+ million in statewide grants; worked for Governor Jerry Brown as the Director of his art school in Oakland from 2007-2016.

Adventurer, traveler, thinker, Harley rider, USAF veteran, father of two daughters, now on the quest to be a known writer. Authenticity matters; yet it’s a rare sighting these days.