The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute is excited to announce that it has hired Shana Chaplin of Maumelle as chief program officer. In her role, Chaplin will develop and lead impactful programs and education services that fulfill the strategic vision of the Institute, cultivate and steward strategic Institute partnerships, and work directly with the CEO as a member of the Institute’s executive leadership team.

“Shana is an accomplished and well-respected leader in community engagement in Arkansas, and we are fortunate to have her contribution as part of the Institute’s executive leadership team,” said Institute Executive Director/CEO Janet Harris. “Our mission is to continue doing what Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller did during his time on the mountain – helping Arkansans work together and collaborate on some of our most pressing issues in the state – and Shana’s expertise in civic engagement and her commitment to the Rockefeller Ethic make her a perfect fit for our organization.” 

Chaplin served most recently as director of Engage Arkansas, where she led the office through simultaneous federal and state transformations, launched the first statewide volunteer portal, increased the award of grant funds from just over $600,000 to $1.7 million, secured private grant funding to help launch the Collegiate Service Leaders network, grew the number of Mayor’s Youth Councils, and launched the Engaged Cities certification program. Chaplin has invested 35 years in the public sector as a community engagement professional, with a demonstrated history in program management, organizational development, volunteer management, and public advocacy.  

Shana Chaplin

Chief Program

“It’s an honor to join the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, especially as we launch Civic Arkansas, a new program dedicated to civic engagement and health. Gov. Rockefeller believed in the power of local people and emphasized the importance of investing in civic infrastructure and fostering a culture of connection and collaboration for a thriving Arkansas. Civic Arkansas allows us to apply a civic lens to all programming, aligning with Rockefeller’s belief that ‘every citizen has the duty to be informed, to be thoughtfully concerned, and to participate in the search for solutions.’”    

Chaplin was recently chosen as one of Arkansas’s 250 most influential leaders by Arkansas Business Publishing Group. She currently serves on the Pulaski County Homeless Village Advisory Board member and is an alumnus of Leadership AR Class XIV. Her first day at the Institute was January 2, 2024. Please find more information about Civic Arkansas and get involved by visiting

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