Deborah Dugan Named President/CEO of Recording Academy

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The Recording Academy Board of Trustees has appointed Deborah Dugan as the next President/CEO of the Recording Academy, the society of performers, musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals, and the organization behind the annual Grammy Awards.

The appointment was announced on Thursday May 9, 2019 by John Poppo, Chair of the Board. Dugan will formally assume the role of President/CEO on Aug. 1, 2019, replacing Neil Portnow, who had held the role since 2002; he will stay on for an unspecified transition period.

“I’m honored, humbled, and ready,” said incoming Recording Academy President/CEO Dugan. “The goal of the Recording Academy is to support, encourage, and advocate for those within the music community. I will listen to and champion all of those individuals, and lead this iconic organization into the future. I’m excited to get started.”

Deborah Dugan
CREDIT: AMY SUSSMAN/INVISION/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

“Deborah is a highly accomplished business executive and a visionary leader who also brings to this role a great passion for the mission of the Academy,” said Poppo. “The Board of Trustees is very eager to work with her as we embark on this next chapter in the Recording Academy’s story.

Dugan brings music-business experience to her new role, having worked from 1990-98 first at SBK Records, and then at EMI/Capitol Records after the companies merged; she worked in the legal department and ultimately rose to executive VP. She joined (RED) as the organization’s CEO in 2011, and prior to that role worked as president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, a $2 billion retail division of the Walt Disney Company.

In her role, Dugan will oversee all Recording Academy affairs, working closely with the Academy’s Board of Trustees and senior management team to advance the Academy’s goals and mission. She will drive the creative and strategic vision of the organization and lead the operations of the Academy. Dugan will also serve as President/CEO of MusiCares and on the boards of the Grammy Museum Foundation and The Latin Recording Academy.

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