The filmmaker and academic arrives from the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, where he has served as director since 2010.
Schuette will start in his new role in autumn and his appointment concludes a worldwide search by the AFI to replace Robert Mandel, who is stepping down after nine years in the role.
“The AFI Conservatory was born nearly 50 years ago – inspired by the European conservatory model,” said AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale.
“Today it remains unique in that we promise MFA candidates that they will make at least four films in two years. And so we searched the world for an academic leader who has also made movies – who has lived it. We are proud to say we found that person in Jan Schuette and look forward to his tenure beginning in the fall.”
“To serve as the dean of the AFI Conservatory, one of the top film schools in the world, is a huge honour and an enormous challenge at the same time,” said Schuette. “I am delighted about the opportunity to continue my work on a new level and look forward to this next chapter of my life in film.”
Schuette has held tenures at Harvard University and Dartmouth College and taught at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where he established the master class programme Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris.
Mandel is returning to directing but will continue as a member of the AFI Conservatory’s directing discipline staff.