President & CEO
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017
Bridget C. Coughlin, PhD is the President & CEO of Shedd Aquarium, providing strategic oversight and direction to all activities and initiatives for the world-class institution. Her experience and expertise is dedicated to long-term planning that advances the aquarium’s mission of enhancing public access, understanding, and appreciation of the aquatic world.
Before joining Shedd this past spring, Dr. Coughlin served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Programs and Adjunct Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS). In that role, she was responsible for education, membership, fundraising, and strategic partnership activities for the 115-year-old institution, which saw nearly 2 million visitors in her final year.
Nationally recognized for her efforts, Dr. Coughlin led the creation of the DMNS Health exhibit, a recipient of the Association of Science-Technology Center’s 2010 Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience. She also established the acclaimed National Institute of Health-funded Genetics of Taste Lab and oversaw the museum’s 126,000-square-foot expansion, along with related exhibits and programming.
Prior to DMNS, Dr. Coughlin spent five years with the National Academy of Sciences, where she served as Managing Editor of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one of the world's most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals. She has also led research teams funded by the National Institutes of Health, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.
Dr. Coughlin holds a bachelor of arts from Knox College, a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and an executive MBA certificate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.