Daphne Lei Appointed Director of UCI Illuminations, the Arts and Culture Initiative

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of Chancellor Gillman, I am pleased to announce that Daphne Lei, Professor of Drama, has been appointed Director of UCI Illuminations, the Arts and Culture Initiative, effective February 1, 2022. I would also like to thank Professor Lei for her service as interim director since January 1, 2022.

Professor Lei has served in a range of leadership and administrative roles since joining UCI in 2001. She is an internationally recognized researcher of Chinese opera, Asian American theatre, and intercultural and transnational performance. Her research focuses on intercultural exchanges across the Pacific, especially interactions between Asians and Asian Americans and negotiations between Asian and non-Asian cultures.

Professor Lei’s interdisciplinary performance work helps advocate for diversity, equity and multiculturalism. She is the founding director of Multicultural Spring, a program that hosts artists and scholars from different cultures and nationalities, and Theatre Woks, a theatre group that cultivates Asian American talent and promotes diversity. Her multi-year performance research project on diversity among graduate students, Dramatic Transformations, has had a campuswide impact. During her tenure as president of American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), she initiated multiple programs and projects that promoted diversity and augmented minoritarian and transnational voices.

I expect that Professor Lei will advance our thriving arts and culture community through Illuminations programming that helps to ensure that all our students, faculty and staff have opportunities for meaningful exposure to arts and culture.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Lei on her new role.

Sincerely,Hal SternProvost and Executive Vice ChancellorChancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics