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Shedd picks Denver museum exec for its new CEO

The board of trustees of the Shedd Aquarium has picked the institution's new president and CEO. | File photo

Shedd Aquarium has picked its new president and CEO.

Bridget C. Coughlin, currently vice president of strategic partnerships and programs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, will start at the Shedd sometime in the spring. She will be the fourth person to hold the position in the aquarium’s 85-year history, and was chosen after after a six-month search led by the Shedd’s Board of Trustees and Korn Ferry, a national search firm.

She replaces president and CEO Ted A. Beattie, who announced in April his intention to retire after 22 years of service.

“I’m incredibly honored to have the confidence of the Board to carry on Shedd’s long tradition of excellence,” Coughlin said in a prepared statement issued by the Shedd.

“Great leaders such as Ted and the talented and dedicated team of staff and volunteers at Shedd have created a world-class aquarium. Very few organizations can say that they make a positive impact on their community, and on the sustainability of aquatic animals and the conservation of their diverse global ecosystems. It’s humbling to be asked to be part of this incredible organization.”

Bridget Coughlin will assume her new post at the Shedd Aquarium in the spring. | Provided

Coughlin, 44, has worked at the Denver museum since 2005. Before DMNS, she worked at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. for five years, where she served as Managing Editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

She earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and her Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She also earned an Executive Scholar Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Kellogg School of Management.

Coughlin currently lives in Denver with her husband and their three sons, but she and her family will relocate to Chicago.