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Art Institute of Chicago appoints Alison Sowden as new CFO

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The Art Institute of Chicago has appointed Alison Sowden their new Chief Financial Officer in an announcement made on Feb. 20, 2014 by search committee head, David Vitale, president of the Chicago Board of Education and vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago. In a statement on the website of her last employer, The Huntington Library in San Marino, California, President Steven S. Koblik extolled her work with the institution where she served as their first officer in the same capacity for 24 years.

"Sowden will assume responsibility for overseeing strategic financial planning and management for the assets and investments of the Art Institute of Chicago, which encompasses both the museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, including more than $900 million of pension and endowment funds. Sowden comes to the Art Institute after 24 years at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, most recently as the vice president for financial affairs," said Vitale.

Sowden said, “I am so proud and honored to have been offered this position. The arc of my career was shaped by the museum-going experiences I had growing up in Philadelphia, where I cultivated my deep love of the arts and humanities, and an appreciation for the impact they can have on the lives of people of all ages. I have been fortunate to work for a series of remarkable cultural institutions, and I see this move as the pinnacle of my career. The museum and the School of the Art Institute are national treasures, and I can’t wait to get to know them even better in my new role. I should add that I am also looking forward to getting to know my new hometown of Chicago.”

Alison D. Sowden has the official title of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for both the Art Institute of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute. Her appointment is effective April 28, 2014.

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