By Roadtrip Nation

Doug Shipman


My road in life has taken me all over.
I was born in a very rural town in Arkansas with essentially no diversity—I quickly realized that the rest of the country wasn’t like that, which inspired me to explore.
I earned my bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Emory University.
After college, I started my career in economics building product profitability models before going to graduate school.
I earned a Master of Theological Studies in theology and public policy from Harvard Divinity School as well as a Master of Public Policy in domestic politics from Harvard Kennedy School.
When I came to Atlanta, I really delved into civil rights history and Dr. King’s legacy.
I helped lead the efforts to build the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
I worked as the president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, the largest arts center in the city and third largest in the country.
I now serve as the City Council President for the City of Atlanta, overseeing the overall operations of the City Council.
Keep following my journey


High School
Economics, Political Science
Emory University
Theology and Public Policy
Harvard Divinity School
Domestic Politics
Harvard Kennedy School


City Council President

I oversee the operations of the Atlanta City Council.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

First, make commitments before you get into the situation. Before I ran for office, I made commitments to myself about what I would always stand for and what I would never do. Once you get into the situation, it's easier to justify doing other things—make the commitments beforehand. Second, define what success looks like. Is it winning? Being in the newspaper? Changing the budget? Third, find people who knew you before you got into the political position. They'll help stay you true to yourself.


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"What's someone like you doing in this position?"

Interviewed By



Meet the people building a better future