Ra Joy brings more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the arts, public policy, and nonprofit management to the National Endowment for the Arts. Previously, Joy served as executive director for CHANGE Illinois, a nonpartisan coalition leading systemic political and government reform. From 2007 to 2015, he served as executive director of Arts Alliance Illinois, one of the nation’s most prominent statewide arts advocacy and service organizations. In this role, Joy championed the arts as a public policy asset and civic priority at all levels of government.
From 2001 to 2007, he served as a senior staffer for U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, specializing in appropriations, community development, education, youth development, and the arts. He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues of social justice, creative expression, and participatory democracy.