Chief Marketing and Experience Officer
Meghan Curran provides insight and direction to Shedd Aquarium’s strategic plan, serving as the primary leader for the aquarium’s experience master plan as well as for strategic programs that expand the aquarium’s footprint in nature, in the community and digitally. She champions Shedd’s experiential brand and helps guide the institution’s ongoing evolution and commitment to diversity, equitability, access and inclusion.
B.S., advertising, University of Illinois
“The magic of Shedd Aquarium is our ability to immerse everyone in the beauty, mystery and diversity of the aquatic animal world through our exhibits, and special programs out in nature, in communities and through digital connections. I am proud to help shape how the aquarium will bring guests eye-to-eye with unbelievable animals to spark a connection and inspire action for years to come.”
Meghan Curran is responsible for delivering Shedd Aquarium’s strategic plan and ambitious vision, shaping what Shedd will look like well into the future. A member of the executive leadership team, she is responsible for advancing the aquarium’s brand evolution, with a specific eye toward creating a joyful, welcoming, educational, equitable and cohesive experience across all touchpoints with the public.
Curran oversees a large team who works in lockstep to support several important institutional efforts including creating immersive exhibits and educational programs, fostering important relationships among our guests, community and with our elected officials, and stewarding an ever-expanding audience of supporters both locally and around the globe. That team is tasked with maintaining Shedd's position as one of the most-attended aquariums in the United States and the top-attended paid cultural organization in Chicago.
With a proven track record for assessing and leveraging audience insight to drive brand and experience, Curran has played a prominent role in building and advancing Shedd’s brand and reputation over the last 20 years. She was a driving force in the creation of Shedd’s in-house marketing agency, ensuring audience insights are infused throughout aquarium strategic planning efforts and developing and promoting guest-centric experiences that align with Shedd’s mission.
Curran is a past chair of the Trends Committee and a past member of the Marketing Committee for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She has presented on a wide range of topics as a desired speaker for national and international associations and industry groups.
Before joining Shedd in 2001, Curran worked with the Chicago Creative Partnership, where Shedd became one of her clients in addition to other well-established organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from the University of Illinois.