President/Chief Executive Officer
Ted A. Beattie joined Shedd Aquarium — one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums — in 1994 as its president and chief executive officer.
Under Beattie’s leadership, the aquarium deepened its commitment to education while embarking on one of its largest-ever expansion projects, a new wing that houses the $45 million Wild Reef. Opened in spring 2003, it features one of the largest and most diverse shark exhibits in North America and will be a lasting legacy to Beattie’s commitment to education. In late 2007, the aquarium embarked on a $100 million capital campaign to renovate and expand the aquarium’s popular Abbott Oceanarium marine mammal pavilion, a project that was completed in 2009.
Beattie’s marine expertise — gained during a lifetime in the aquarium and zoo profession — helped guide the creation of new ocean policies. Appointed by President Bush in 2001 to the 16-member U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, he helped craft recommendations on a range of issues, from stewardship of marine resources and pollution prevention to enhancing and supporting marine science, commerce and transportation. The final report was presented to the President and Congress in late summer 2004. Ocean education is a high priority in the report, with aquariums playing a prominent lead role.
He is a graduate of Ohio State University with a master's degree in marketing and public relations and a bachelor's degree in journalism. He started his zoo and aquarium career as the Cincinnati Zoo's first marketing and development director, and he went on to hold directorships of the Knoxville, Tenn., and Fort Worth, Texas, zoos.
An active member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), Beattie served as president of the 6,000-member professional association, is a member of several of the association’s committees and successfully chaired the $5 million conservation endowment campaign. His service to the national association also has included 15 years of teaching management courses as part of AZA's professional management schools. He is the recipient of the R. Marlin Perkins Award for Professional Excellence (the profession’s highest award), and in mid-2006 he was selected as Chicago’s Chief Executive of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America.
Most recently Beattie was elected to his second term on the board of directors of the American Association of Museums. In Chicago, he serves on the Arts Club board of directors, is a member of the Chicago Club, the Commercial Club of Chicago, Economic Club of Chicago, the Onwentsia Country Club and the Plantation Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
His Ohio State relationships continue to be strong. He served as chairman of the Alumni Association’s board of directors from 2003-2005 in addition to a five-year term on the board. He also served on the Provost's External Advisory Board on Teaching, the Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Communication and the OSU Chicago Major Gifts Committee. He received the School of Communications Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, and then in late 2007 he was honored with the University’s Distinguished Service Award, the highest service award given by the university.
Golf continues to play an important role in his career. Following on his golf scholarship at Ohio State, Beattie has made this life-long interest an important tool in his management and fundraising responsibilities in the not-for-profit world. Beattie resides in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood.