Chief Operating Officer
Development, Community Engagement
Karen Shepherd is the Chief Operating Officer for The Washington Ballet. She has over 20 years of experience in arts management and arts education for both non-profit and for-profit sectors of the arts industry.
In her role, Karen leads the government, foundation, and corporate fundraising initiatives for The Washington Ballet in addition to providing strategic oversight and operating plans for community impact programming.
Prior to joining TWB, Karen served as Head of Maryland Campuses for Levine Music overseeing all aspects of campus management, budget, and educational and performance programming at the Strathmore and Silver Spring Campuses serving more than 800 adult and youth students with 100 faculty members and more than 200 events annually. As an integral member of the Senior Team, she participated in school-wide strategic planning efforts, implementing two successful strategic planning initiatives and frequently represented Levine at Council meetings and public events. Karen spearheaded and managed all aspects of Montgomery County expansion for Levine Music developing 9,000 square feet of raw space, including contract negotiations, architectural design coordination, program development, and strategic planning.
Equally as comfortable in the for-profit sector, Karen was a Manager in the Instrumental and Conductors Division at IMG Artists in New York, serving as the primary liaison to presenting venues across the US and Europe, managing logistics and bookings for artist clients, and maintaining close working relationships with world-renowned artists such as Itzhak Perlman, the Emerson String Quartet, Sir James Galway and Leif Ove Andsnes.
Currently, Karen serves on the Children’s Health Board of Children’s National Hospital as well as on the William & Mary Libraries Board. She is a frequent grant reviewer for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. In the past, she was a member of the Young Fellows Board of the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City where she helped grow the board and secure gifts for capital campaign projects. Karen received her bachelor’s degree in Music (violin) and German from William & Mary and a Certificate of Business Management from the Mason School of Business at William & Mary.
Photo by XMB photography.