The Cornish Leadership Team

When The Cornish School opened its doors in 1914, it was the result of the tenacious and inspired efforts of a singular woman -- Nellie Centennial Cornish. Now, as it moves into its second century, Cornish College of the Arts requires an equally tenacious and inspired team of leaders to guide it. From the president and the provost to the chairs of the academic departments and the board of directors, these dedicated professionals shape Cornish College with their experience, expertise and passion for exceptional contemporary arts education.


Photo by Deb Lindsey

Dr. Raymond Tymas-Jones


Raymond Tymas-Jones PhD has served as dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah for 12 years and became the university’s associate vice president for the arts in 2017. During his tenure, he established the Center for Interdisciplinary Arts in Technology and led the development of the Create CONNECTIONS Project to foster interdisciplinary activity through the infusion of arts and design practices in medicine, science, and business. Cornish College of the Arts’ tenth president, his term began July 1, 2018.

In addition to his responsibilities in the College of Fine Arts, Tymas-Jones also was the chief administrative officer for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Pioneer Theatre Company, the Tanner Dance Program, and UtahPresents Performing Arts Series. Prior to his time at University of Utah, Tymas-Jones served as the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Fine Arts at Buffalo State College (1990-93), Director of the School of Music at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls (1993-98) and the Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University (1998-2005). As a music instructor or associate professor, he taught at Washington University (1980-83), Buffalo State College (1983-93), University of Northern Iowa (1993-98), finishing there as Professor of Music, and was Professor of Music at Ohio University (1998-2005).

President's Cabinet

Photo by Winifred Westergard

Anne Derieux

Vice President of Advancement

Anne’s professional path spans from ballerina of international stature to fundraising for the arts and education expert. Born and raised in Versailles, France, she studied ballet at an early age at the prominent Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris. Shortly after graduating, she was selected to join the Ballets de Monte-Carlo in 1985, under the presidency of Caroline de Monaco, who revived the formerly known Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in memory of her mother Princess Grace. The Company, with the strong support of the Princess, became a hub for artistic excellence and creativity, and toured in all corners of the world.

After seven years performing on most prestigious stages and theaters on all continents, Anne decided she wanted to experience ballet in America. After a successful visit in Seattle, Francia Russell and Kent Stowell asked her to join Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1992. Described by the press as the French Ballerina with exquisite style and expression, she enjoyed experiencing the Balanchine style, and performed many lead roles in the classical repertoire.

Upon her retirement in 2000, Anne decided to study fundraising management for non-profit at the University of Washington, mentored and encouraged by PNB trustees. Her integrity, passion, and commitment to excellence helped her move forward fast and with many successes. She most recently led the Advancement office at the French American School of Puget Sound. Under her leadership, the institution launched its first endowment fund, and increased by 50% its contributed revenue.

In 2017, Anne joined Cornish College of the Arts which combined her passion for the arts, and deep appreciation for arts education. Anne’s passion for the arts is contagious, and her utmost professionalism and drive to reach her goals, makes her an ideal partner in advancing the arts’ role and impact in our community. She oversees Alumni Relations, Communications, Marketing, and Development.

Photo by Winifred Westergard

Ryan O’Mealey

Vice President of Enrollment

Ryan joined Cornish College of the Arts in 2017 as Vice President for Enrollment, overseeing the offices of Admission, Financial Aid, Registration & Records, Student Accounts, Student Life, Residential Life, and Institutional Research. Prior to his appointment, O’Mealey served as Assistant Dean for Admission, Financial Aid and Graduate Services for the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. During his tenure, O’Mealey implemented a complete modernization of recruitment operations and data-driven marketing, guiding exponential growth in applications and retention. He is a passionate advocate for empowering artists through education, having presented on topics that enable young artists to take control of their own creative enterprise, including financial literacy, non-profit economic systems, creative management, college search strategies and career planning. O’Mealey has served on several non-profit boards in the arts, assisting with marketing, development and outreach initiatives, and was featured in Downbeat magazine.

He holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma State University. As a performer of early music and oratorio, he has been a featured soloist with Chicago-based groups such as Music of the Baroque, the Callipygian Players, the North Shore Choral Society, and the Grant Park Music Festival.

Photo by Matt Hagen

Christene A James

VP of Finance & Administration

In 2018, Christene James joined Cornish’s leadership team after serving as Assistant Dean, Finance & Administration/Chief Financial Officer at the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy. Prior to her work in business and development at UW from 2001 to 2018, she served as a project manager in global infrastructure for Other previous positions include Assistant Director, Graduate Program, Neurobiology & Behavior (1996-1999) and Division Administrator, Division of Rheumatology. Christene holds an MBA in Technology Management (UW, Bothell) and is currently in the process of completing a PhD in Leadership in Higher Education from the University of Oregon. A highly analytical and resourceful senior leader, Christene brings to Cornish her 20+ years of experience directing substantial growth and leading development of strategic plans driving operational and financial efficiency, productivity, and project management. An organized resourceful problem solver and articulate communicator, she brings exceptional interpersonal skills to her position. As Cornish enters its next decade, she is poised to lead and mobilize cross-functional teams to accomplish the College’s objectives.

Photo by Winifred Westergard

Brandon Bird

Vice President of Operations

Brandon has over 20+ years in commercial, corporate, governmental, and higher education security experience. He joined Cornish in May 2009 as Director of Campus Safety & Security. In 2016 he accepted the position of Director of Operations & Security, adding management oversight of our Facilities and Custodial departments. In 2017 Brandon was promoted to Vice President of Operations, providing overall leadership, direction, and management of Cornish facilities and master campus planning.