President and CEO, PBS
Paula A. Kerger is president and chief executive officer of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with 356 member stations throughout the country.
Ms. Kerger joined PBS as its sixth president and chief executive in March 2006. Since her arrival, Ms. Kerger’s commitment to high-quality content, education, diversity, and the use of new technology to bring public service media into the lives of all Americans has resulted in a broad range of initiatives. Among her accomplishments are Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s “The War,” which earned the highest rating of any PBS series in the last 10 years; the debut of such acclaimed children’s programs as “Curious George” (the number one show for children ages 2-5 since 2006), “Word World,” “Super Why!,” “Martha Speaks,” and “Sid the Science Kid”; new primetime science and arts series; and comprehensive online sites for parents and caregivers -- PBS Parents -- and for educators -- PBS Teachers. In the past year, PBS programs have been honored with 33 Emmys, including ten News and Documentary Emmys and nine Primetime Emmys; eight George Foster Peabody awards; and one Academy Award (for best animated short film). Innovative partnerships with such companies as iTunes, YouTube, Microsoft’s Xbox, Netflix, Amazon’s Video on Demand, Hulu, and Vuze ensure that PBS programming is accessible across more than one platform and, increasingly, to a global audience.
In addition to leading PBS, Ms. Kerger is president of the PBS Foundation, an independent organization that raises private sector funding for PBS, and a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. For the past three years, the Hollywood Reporter has included Ms. Kerger in the “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” an annual survey of the nation’s top women executives in media. In 2008, she received the Woman of Achievement Award from Women in Development, New York.
Prior to joining PBS, Ms. Kerger served for more than a decade at Educational Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), the parent company of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York, where her ultimate position was executive vice president and COO. Her tenure boasts many achievements, including WNET’s completion in 1997 of the largest successful endowment campaign ever undertaken by a public television station.
Ms. Kerger received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore, where she serves on the Merrick School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. She and her husband Joseph live in Washington, D.C.