ATLANTA AP – The Woodruff Arts Center has named a prominent Atlanta attorney and longtime arts and civic leader as its new president and chief executive officer.

Joseph R. Bankoff, who starts his new job in September, will lead the largest arts center in the Southeast and one of the three largest in the nation. He was unanimously approved by the center’s board of trustees.

Over the summer, he will study Woodruff Arts Center plans and operations and transition his role at the King & Spalding law firm, where he is a senior partner.

Bankoff will succeed Shelton G. Stanfill, who is expected to retire in June.

Bankoff, 60, negotiated record-setting television rights for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and led the search that attracted music director Robert Spano and conductor Donald Runnicles to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He was chairman of the Regional Arts Task Force, which created the Metro Atlanta Arts and Culture Coalition.

“In recent years I have enjoyed working to strengthen the entire arts community throughout the region,” Bankoff said. “Now, I have the opportunity to take my passion for the arts and make it my full-time work.”