W. Bishop Woosley

Director

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery

Little Rock

Age: 38


W. Bishop Woosley

Bishop Woosley got in on the ground floor of a brand new industry in Arkansas, and he quickly rode the elevator all the way to the top.

Originally from Stuttgart, Woosley graduated from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway and the Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Then he went home to Stuttgart and joined the Green & Henry firm, where one of the partners promptly retired and the other became a judge. He practiced on his own until 2007.

Then Woosley was hired by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel as an assistant AG. In 2008, Arkansas voters approved the creation of the state’s first lottery in order to fund college scholarships, and Woosley volunteered to follow the enabling legislation through the legislative session of 2009.

Naturally, he became the AG’s liaison to the newly created Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Commission, and the commission hired him as its general counsel in the summer of 2009. He was there through the lottery’s tumultuous first two years under director Ernie Passailaigue, and in February, four months after Passailaigue resigned, he was promoted to executive director.

Woosley saw no need to replace the two highly paid vice presidents who came from South Carolina with Passailaigue and were gone shortly after he was. In fact, Woosley is being paid less than the former VPs.

“I think I benefited from having been over here since the startup,” he said. “In those situations, you can see what’s worked and what’s not worked and where the missteps have been.”

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has now awarded more than $250 million in scholarships to Arkansas students attending Arkansas colleges and universities.
“It’s been rewarding and at times humbling,” Woosley said, “but in the end I think we’ve done a lot of good for the students and families of Arkansas.”