ARLINGTON, VA; September 23, 2020 – After completing the first FY 2021 meeting of the PBS Board of Directors, PBS President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Kerger announced the results of the recent Board elections.
Molly Phillips, Executive Director and General Manager of Iowa PBS, was elected to a second term as a Professional Director. President of GBH Jon Abbott, President of KQED Michael Isip and President & CEO of WTTW Sandra Cordova Micek were elected to join the Board as Professional Directors.
In addition, Mildred García, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), was elected as a General Director on the PBS Board.
During this meeting, Board officers were elected as well. Founder and CEO of Palisades Strategic Advisors Donald A. Baer and Ideastream President & CEO Kevin Martin were re-elected as Board Chair and Professional Vice Chair, respectively, and Maxine Clark was selected as the new General Vice Chair of the Board.
“As PBS celebrates 50 years, our service to the American public has never been more important,” said Kerger. “Thanks to the extraordinary leadership of the PBS Board of Directors, public television will continue to serve as a beacon of thoughtful and thought-provoking media for generations to come.”
The 27-person PBS Board includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders, and General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board, as well as the PBS President. The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and Professional Directors of the PBS Board are elected to three-year terms and serve without pay.
PBS member stations elect the Professional Directors. The General Directors are elected by the entire Board, as are the PBS President and the Board officers.
Molly Phillips is Executive Director and General Manager for Iowa PBS, where she has been responsible for leading Iowa’s only statewide broadcast network since 2013. She has served Iowa PBS since 1990, devoting her career to the advancement of public television and Iowa PBS’s mission to educate, inform, enrich and inspire Iowans. Phillips was previously the Director of Communications and Community Engagement at Iowa PBS, where for nearly 15 years she was responsible for the network’s state and federal public policy advocacy. America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) presented her with its National Advocacy Award in 2010.
Phillips has volunteered her time and talents to a long list of organizations advancing the vision and goals of public media. She was elected to and currently serves as chair on the APTS Board of Trustees and is an active member of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE). She also chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for APTS. Phillips was elected to and currently serves on the Public Broadcasting Service Board of Directors, where she is co-chair of the PBS Diversity Advisory Committee. She also serves as past-chair on the National Education Telecommunications Association (NETA) Board of Directors. She previously served NETA as chair and secretary. As past-chair, she also serves on the Affinity Group Coalition of Public Media Organizations where she is leading an initiative to create professional development training opportunities for public media employees.
She completed the PBS Executive Leadership program in 2015 and is frequently invited to speak on the value, education benefits and opportunities offered by public media. She presented at the 2019 and 2020 NETA conferences, the 2018, 2019 and 2020 APTS Public Media Summits, and the 2017 Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Board Meeting.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business degree from Grand View University in Des Moines. Phillips was raised in Southwest Iowa and she currently resides in Grimes with her husband Steve. They have three grown children together: Courtney and twin boys Taylor and Trevor.
Jon Abbott is the president and CEO of GBH Boston and a leading advocate for public service media nationwide. Abbott has expanded GBH’s investment, impact and reach in communities across Massachusetts with multiple public TV, radio, digital and educational media services serving southern New England, as well as GBH’s national television, radio and digital production activities, media access services, and educational technologies.
In partnership with PBS, he led the launch of PBS LearningMedia, a free national online service that offers classroom-ready digital resources for educators in all 50 states. He collaborated on the creation of two national digital TV services, WORLD and CREATE, and has championed numerous innovations to strengthen the entire public media system.
Abbott joined GBH as Vice President and General Manager in 1998 and was named President and CEO in 2007. Prior to GBH, he served as Senior Vice President for Development and Corporate Relations at PBS and in senior management with San Francisco public media station KQED. He began his career in media while a student at Columbia University’s WKCR-FM.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University and an MBA from Stanford University. He is a member of the boards of National Public Media (NPM), Contributor Development Partnership (CDP), PBS Distribution, Project Healthy Children and immediate past Chair of the Public Television Major Market Group. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of the John Jay Award from Columbia University.
Michael Isip is President of KQED, the San Francisco Bay Area’s PBS and NPR media resource. As a media executive, Isip combines the values of creativity, collaboration, inclusivity and integrity to use journalism, media and technology for good.
For almost a quarter of a century, Isip has used the power of media to build empathy, foster understanding and bring people together. From productions about the working uninsured and mental illness and homelessness, to the development of an online hub to showcase the breadth, depth and diversity of Bay Area arts and culture, and to driving KQED’s transformation into a multimedia organization, his focus has been serving the community.
Isip joined KQED in 2001 as a Television Executive Producer and has served in a number of senior-level roles, including Chief Content Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He has led strategic initiatives enabling KQED to become one of the largest and most successful public media institutions. Isip shepherded KQED’s growth in multimedia production and distribution.
Additionally, he has centered operations on engaging audiences across multiple platforms by restructuring KQED around multimedia teams in news, arts, science, education and digital products. This restructure brought upgrades to technological infrastructure, facilitated greater collaboration and increased digital content and services. KQED’s total audience and membership are at all-time highs. Each week almost one in two adults in the Bay Area use a KQED service and KQED has more than 238,000 members.
Prior to KQED, he led production at KVIE Public Television, Sacramento. Isip started his career at WLS-TV, Chicago. Michael is a senior fellow for the American Leadership Forum, Silicon Valley and serves on the boards of Public Radio Exchange (PRX), American Documentary Inc., Joint Venture Silicon Valley, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. Isip has a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from DePaul College of Law.
Sandra Cordova Micek
Prior to her tenure at WTTW and WFMT, Sandra Cordova Micek served as senior vice president, Global Brands for Hyatt, where she was a change agent, helping to transform the organization to become more purpose‐driven and brand‐led by developing break‐through, integrated, cross‐platform programs and by being laser focused on the target audience. She co-led Hyatt’s diversity business resource group, Latinos at Hyatt.
Before that, Cordova Micek was senior vice president, Marketing, for USA TODAY, where she was actively involved in the digital transformation journey of the company. She also ran Women at NBCU and spent almost 10 years in Silicon Valley holding strategic management positions at Yahoo! and Accenture (San Francisco and London). Cordova Micek started her career at Turner Broadcasting in New York, and earned a BA in Communications/Television, Radio and Film Management at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University. She has served on and is now chair of the Newhouse School Advisory Board and the Syracuse University Chicago Regional Council.
She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania where she was the Ford Motor Company Marketing Scholar. She has earned numerous awards including two Shortie Awards honoring the best in social media, a 2014 SMARTIE award from the Mobile Marketing Association, the Fast Company 2013 Innovation by Design award, a Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, a Brand Innovator Award and the Latina Style Award. In 2019, she was named the McCormick Foundation Fellow in the inaugural class of the Leadership Greater Chicago Daniel Burnham Fellowship program for C-level executives and a Chicago United Business Leader of Color Award recipient. She is currently a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, The Commercial Club and the Association of Latino Professionals for America.
Dr. Mildred García assumed the presidency of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on January 22, 2018.
As AASCU's president, Dr. García is an advocate for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of nearly 400 member colleges and universities; serving as a resource to presidents and chancellors as they address state policy and emerging campus issues; developing collaborative partnerships and initiatives that advance public higher education; directing a strategic agenda that focuses on public college and university leadership for the 21st century; and providing professional development opportunities for presidents, chancellors, and their spouses. She is the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining AASCU, Dr. García served as the president of California State University, Fullerton—the largest university in the CSU and the third largest university in the state, serving over 40,000 students and having an operating budget of almost half a billion dollars. Under her leadership, the university saw a 30 percent improvement in six-year graduation rates and a 65 percent improvement in four-year graduation rates for first-time freshmen—both university records; the achievement gap was eliminated for transfer students and cut in half for first-time freshmen; and annual gift commitments nearly tripled (from $8.5 million to $22 million). In 2016, for the first time in history, U.S. News & World Report heralded the institution as a top "national university," rather than "top regional university," the far narrower category in which it had previously been ranked. The institution is now number one in California and second in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics, as well as sixth in the nation in graduating students of color. In addition, Dr. García previously served as president of CSU Dominguez Hills and became the first Latina president in the largest system of public higher education in the country
As a university president, Dr. García was an active member of AASCU. Her volunteer involvement with AASCU included chairing the AASCU Council of State Representatives; serving on the AASCU Board of Directors; chairing the Committee on International Education; serving as a Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute mentor; and delivering the Marie McDemmond Lecture and the President-to-Presidents lecture, a tradition at the AASCU Annual Meeting for more than 30 years and a signal honor given by the AASCU Board of Directors to one of their colleagues.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV— including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.
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