Board of Directors
President and CEO of WGBH Boston
Director since 2009. President and CEO of WGBH Boston and a leading advocate for public service media nationwide. He joined WGBH in 1998, became Executive Vice President and COO in 2004, and was named President and CEO in October 2007. Abbott oversees 11 public TV services and 3 public radio services serving southern New England, as well as WGBH’s national television, radio and web production activitåies, media access services, and educational technologies. Abbott has worked closely with PBS to extend public service media's reach; he helped spearhead the launch of two new national digital program services: Create (a syndicated lifestyle channel co-created with WNET/New York) made its national debut in 2005; PBS World (a syndicated non fiction service co-created with WNET/New York showcasing science, history, nature, and news programming) followed in 2007. During his tenure as president, Abbott has expanded WGBH's new media and educational efforts and partnerships, from Teachers' Domain (a multimedia online service for teachers and students), to the experimental WGBH Lab (using the Web and rights-cleared "open content" to open doors to the next generation of media makers), to We Shall Remain from American Experience, an ambitious multimedia and outreach project about Native history. These efforts build on Abbott's early and longstanding interest in re-tooling legacy productions, distribution, and fundraising systems to provide public service media's distinctive content across an expanding array of digital devices — making it easier for the public as well as educators and students to access public media’s rich library of programming and information when and where they choose. Before coming to WGBH, Abbott served as senior vice president for development and corporate relations at PBS (1992-1998). Prior to that, he spent five years in senior management with San Francisco public station KQED. He serves on numerous public media boards, including American Public Television (APT), American Documentary/P.O.V., and Public Television's Major Market Group. He is a Trustee of the Arts Boston, and a board member of Project Healthy Children. Abbott holds a BA from Columbia University and an MBA from Stanford University. He currently chairs the PBS Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and serves on the PBS Executive and Finance committees and the Strategic Planning Advisory Group.