Michael A. Behrens was recently appointed as the director of financial operations and comptroller for the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. He will oversee financial operations, the box office and production management.
Most recently, Behrens served as the director of the Documentary Film Institute and an adjunct faculty member in the Cinema Department. From December to May, he was the institute’s managing director. Behrens also produces and fundraises for Veteran Documentary Corps, an ongoing project in the institute that documents the stories of veterans from around the world.
Behrens is on the board of directors of Emergency USA, the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council, NarrativeTrack Inc. and Bona Fide Films. He is also on the Phnom Penh Film Commission, CSU Entertainment Initiative Advisory Committee and the Development Committee for the Cinema Department.
“Michael’s wide-ranging experience and professional network in entertainment, nonprofit business and academia have made him an invaluable asset to San Francisco State University,” said Daniel Bernardi, interim dean of the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. “His 20-plus successful years in these arenas prove that he has the ability to move seamlessly between the many worlds where we travel, throughout the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. We are lucky to have him as a member of our staff.”
Previously, Behrens launched and led the San Francisco Film Society’s professional development program and, before that, the education program at the Film Arts Foundation. He has worked as a producer on several documentaries and narratives: Naked Company, 780 Frederick, Jaime’s Car, My Garbage My Neighborhood, Climate Change and Kunjo. He is executive producer on Madame Mars, Searching for Light and Love Boat: Taiwan. In addition, he has consulted on fundraising and marketing strategy for dozens of films while at the San Francisco Film Society, most notably the Academy Award-nominated short documentary Open Heart.
Behrens previously taught at Illinois State University and SUNY Potsdam as well as SF State. He has guest lectured at Saint Mary’s College, the San Francisco Art Institute, California Arts Institute, National Acting School of Finland, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Zhu Hai University, Sun Yat-Sen University and Grand Valley State University. He has directed in theatres and produced films around the world as well as acted on television on shows like Star Trek Voyager and in plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Behrens holds a Master of Nonprofit Administration from University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Idaho.