Doug Shipman 3

Woodruff Arts Center Names Doug Shipman President and Chief Executive Officer

Atlanta, June 2, 2017 – The Woodruff Arts Center today announced that Doug Shipman has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 18, 2017.  He succeeds Virginia Hepner, who is retiring from the position after five very successful years leading the nation’s third largest arts center, home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art.


Since 2015, Mr. Shipman has been Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in the Atlanta office of BrightHouse, a division of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).  BrightHouse is a global creative consultancy that helps organizations grow their people, profits, and social impact.  Before BrightHouse, he was the founding Chief Executive Officer for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, an award-winning museum in Atlanta.


“Doug is a perfect choice to lead the Woodruff Arts Center as we enter an especially exciting period in our history,” said Doug Hertz, past chairman of the Arts Center Board of Trustees and chair of the CEO search committee.  “He has enjoyed great success as a leader in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds and he has strong roots in the Atlanta community.   He brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will help the Arts Center continue to grow and thrive.”


“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this wonderful institution,” said Mr. Shipman.  “The arts are the heart and collective conscience of any community and the Woodruff Arts Center has been an incredible platform for presenting Atlanta the best in theater, music and art for nearly 50 years.  It is such a privilege for me to take on this new role and I can’t wait to begin working with the array of artists and supporters who will continue to allow the Arts Center and the broader Atlanta arts community to thrive.”


Phil Jacobs, newly elected chairman of the Arts Center’s Board, added, “Thanks to the leadership of Doug Hertz and Virginia Hepner and the efforts of the entire Woodruff Arts Center, we have made great strides in the last five years, artistically and operationally.  Now, I look forward to working with Doug Shipman in continuing to build on that momentum.”


In 2016, the Arts Center completed one of the largest fundraising initiatives in its history, raising $112 million in its Transformation Campaign.  On the heels of that success, the Alliance Theatre has begun the first-ever renovation of its main performance space, which will be completed by the fall of 2018; the High Museum of Art is planning a major reinstallation of its permanent collection in the fall of 2018; eleven new musician positions have been funded in perpetuity for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, bringing the size of the Orchestra to 88 musicians; and free programming for families on Sundays has drawn nearly 120,000 patrons to the Arts Center in the last two years, with 20% of them first-time visitors.