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Lori Smedley | Chief Development Officer

John G. Shedd Aquarium

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has named Lori Smedley as its next Chief Development Officer, effective August 2023. An accomplished fundraiser with more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Smedley most recently served as the Associate Vice President for Advancement at DePaul University. In this capacity, she played a lead role in the development of their next comprehensive campaign and previously served as Interim Vice President.

In her new role at Shedd, Smedley will partner with a committed and dynamic CEO in Dr. Bridget Coughlin, lead an exceptional team, and guide a comprehensive development program to achieve historic levels of philanthropy. Smedley joins Shedd at an urgent moment as the world faces increasing threats to aquatic life and ecosystems—and at an important milestone in the aquarium’s history. Shedd recently launched its Centennial Commitment, a $500 million initiative to mark the aquarium’s 100th birthday in 2030. 

Prior to her time at DePaul, Smedley spent several years at the University of Chicago. Past roles include Associate Dean of Development for the physical sciences division, Executive Director for Foundation and Corporate Relations, and Senior Director for Computation Advancement. Smedley earned a bachelor's degree from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, with a double major in philosophy and the history of mathematics.

Jack Gorman led this search with Grace Zakim and Ryan Cheung.