You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Sherburne Laughlin

Back to top

Photograph of Sherburne Laughlin

Sherburne Laughlin Hurst Sr Prof Lecturer Emerita Department of Performing Arts

Additional Positions at AU
Director, Arts Management Program
Chair, 40th Anniversary of the Arts Management Program
Chair, Faculty Senate Committee on Term Faculty Language in the Faculty Manual
MBA, Yale University
BA, Davidson College

Favorite Spot on Campus
Any garden on campus
Sherburne Laughlin holds an MBA from Yale University and is a cum laude graduate of Davidson College. Her nonprofit management and philanthropic career spans over 20 years of executive director and program director experience. A full-time professor since 2007 at AU, she has pioneered top-ranked courses in strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing and governance. Her consulting work focuses on issues of governance, organizational development and strategic planning and serves all types of nonprofits, arts and non-arts, large and small, national and local. She has served on many arts and humanities panels, including the DC, Montgomery and Fairfax County Arts Council panels and the national VSA arts panel. She served on the City Fund, which is awarding $15 million over 3 years to the arts and workforce development in the District of Columbia. Until recently, she was a member of the Advisory Board of Round House Theater and for 16 years served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Davidson College. Laughlin co-chaired the national conference of the Association of Arts Administration Educators and chaired the Graduate Standards Committee, which recently published the revised Graduate Standards in Arts Administration Education. Until recently, she was the President of the Association of Arts Administration Educators, the leading international scholarly association of the field. Her work on governance was recognized in her selection as the author on US arts governance in the path-breaking book International Cultural Governance published by Palgrave McMillan in 2019. She chaired the Americans for the Arts' task force on Higher Education in the Arts, which crafts the congressional legislative platform on the arts in higher education.
See Also
Performing Arts Department
Arts Management Program
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Round House Theater
    Advisory Board member, (2004-present)

  • Washington Area Women’s Foundation
    Founding Board member, (1995-2005)

  • Davidson College
    Trustee, Executive Committee, Campus Life Committee Chair

  • Fairfax County Commission on the Arts
    Panel member

  • Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council
    Panel member

  • Association of Arts Administration Educators
    Co-Chair, National Conference, (2010)

  • Association of Arts Administration Educators
    Planning Committee, National Conference, (2009)

  • VSAarts
    Panel member

  • CityFund
    Lead grant reviewer

  • Association of Arts Administration Educators
    Immediate Past President, President, Vice President

  • DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities
    Grants Panelist

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Professional Presentations

  • “Trends in Arts Management in the US”
  • “Arts Management and Cultural Policy in the United States”
  • "Global Summit on Arts Administration Networks"
  • The Association of Arts Administration Educators: Structure, Programs and Future
  • Arts Management Education in a Multicultural Environment
  • Arts Management Education and Risk Societies
  • Oh What A Beautiful Transition! Working to Governing Boards
  • The Learning Games: In-class Simulations and Games as Pedagogical Tools
  • Connecting the Dots: Building Continuity Across the Curriculum
  • The Arts Administration Curriculum for the 21st Century: How to Prepare Leaders for the Global Arts Economy
  • Supporting Emerging Arts Leaders: Case Studies from the Field
  • Arts Infrastructure and Funding in the US

Executive Experience

  • Interim Executive Director, Washington Area Women's Foundation
  • Executive Director, Support Center of Washington
  • Director, National Endowment for the Arts Advancement Program, Support Center of Washington
  • Director, Public Training, Support Center of Washington
  • Director of Development, WCPE Radio

Professional Certifications

  • Harvard University, Executive Program, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management