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Russell Willis Taylor served as the President and CEO of National Arts Strategies from 2001-2014. Taylor has extensive senior experience in strategic business planning, financial analysis and planning, and all areas of operational management. Educated in England and America, she served as director of development for the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art before returning to England in 1984 at the invitation of the English National Opera (ENO) to establish the Company's first fund-raising department. During this time, she also lectured extensively at graduate programs of arts and business management throughout Britain. From 1997 to 2001, she rejoined the ENO as executive director.
Russell has held a wide range of managerial and Board posts in the commercial and nonprofit sectors including the advertising agency DMBB; head of corporate relations at Stoll Moss; director of The Arts Foundation; special advisor to the Heritage Board, Singapore; chief executive of Year of Opera and Music Theatre (1997); judge for Creative Britons and lecturer on business issues and arts administration. She received the Garrett Award for an outstanding contribution to the arts in Britain, the only American to be recognized in this way, and has served on the boards of A&B (Arts and Business), Cambridge Arts Theatre, Arts Research Digest and the Society of London Theatre. She currently serves on the advisory boards of The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, Salzburg Global Seminar, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence in Charlottesville and the Arts Management program at American University, on the British Council's Arts & Creative Economy Advisory Group and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2013, Russell was honored with the International Citation of Merit by the International Society for the Performing Arts, presented in recognition of her lifetime achievement and her distinguished service to the performing arts.