Ellis was approached after Brown expressed her desire to step down, Lisa Schiff, the chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center's board, told Bloomberg News. Currently the president of AEA Consulting, he previously worked as a consultant for JALC when it opened in 2005. Through his work with AEA, Ellis has also advised the National Gallery in London, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Frick Collection.
On why he took the job, the Oxford graduate explained in a phone interview with Bloomberg News that he has a "fairly good knowledge'' of what makes non-profits successful. "We need to think about what our ambitions are for the next chapter of this wonderful facility that we have, and I think that's my chapter,'' he said.
Brown led JALC's $131 million fund-raising campaign to build its home at the Time Warner Center in New York City. Said JALC artistic director Wynton Marsalis in a press release, "Kathy Brown has been a steadying hand through an enormous growth period for Jazz at Lincoln Center. She will always remain an important part of our jazz family.''
Brown will remain the executive director through September 30.