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Artificial Intelligence in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC) Names First Chair

Reed Sheard, Ed.D. Takes Helm of AAAC, to Accelerate Education and Application of AI in Advancement

The AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC), a first-of-its-kind organization committed to open discussion and evaluation about where artificial intelligence (AI) can and should impact advancement, today announced that Reed Sheard, Ed.D., has been named chair of the Council. Sheard, a founding member of the AAAC, has been a longtime recognized voice and champion for nonprofit organizations using technology to transform outcomes within advancement to make philanthropic efforts more impactful.

Dr. Sheard currently serves as CIO and Vice President of Advancement for Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, where he has led a team that has grown fundraising support dramatically since 2008. This has included leading the two largest campaigns in the history of Westmont. He's also the author of numerous articles covering innovation and technology, digital transformation, and AI in nonprofit fundraising. In addition to chairing the AAAC, Sheard serves on leadership boards, including the Higher Education Practice Group of the CIO Executive Council, CIO Innovation Council at Salesforce, and the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Central Coast. InfoWorld 100 Awards chose Dr. Sheard and Westmont College as one of the top 100 IT organizations for their innovative cloud computing work. In 2015, Sheard was named to the Top 100 CIOs in North America by ITG/Computerworld.

"Reed has been an amazing champion and partner to all nonprofit organizations as they embark on digital-first strategies that transform the ways we work, and ultimately produce philanthropic outcomes that weren't possible just a few short years ago," said Adam Martel, CEO of Gravyty. "As artificial intelligence rapidly accelerates advancement to new and more impactful outcomes, I couldn't think of a better person to take over the leadership of the nonprofit sector's AI council, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to expand our impact."

As the leading organization addressing AI in the philanthropic sector and one of the longest-tenured AI councils across all business sectors, the AAAC is unique. Sheard will build on the AAAC's current work, which has generated prominent press articles, keynote speaking sessions at top nonprofit conferences, issuing the industry's first benchmark study on AI (The State of AI in Advancement Report), and more.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the AAAC and thrilled to accelerate the education of AI in advancement. I appreciate the work my good friend, Adam Martel, has done to introduce this discussion to the industry, and I plan to build on that momentum," said Sheard. "Over the next two years, we aim to make the AAAC an organization that extends its footprint to the entire advancement audience by educating our peers on why AI matters and how it can help grow support for our various nonprofit organizations."

Sheard's first official act as chair of the AAAC will be to release the 2020 State of AI in Advancement report in the coming weeks. That report will be found here when published.


About the AAAC

In October 2018, members of the advancement industry came together to form the AAAC. AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC). With the belief that artificial intelligence (AI) technology AI was beginning to revolutionize the way fundraising works, these leaders recognized the need to help shape AI's role in the industry. Entirely volunteer-driven by the passion of its members, the AAAC commits to open discussion about where AI technology can and should impact advancement and solve critical challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption.

The AAAC exists to serve our community and promote the evaluation, use, education, and outcomes from applying AI in advancement.



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