Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will be on campus December 3 to address students as the 2003 Margo Johnson Lecturer.
Pat is the first woman and first producer to serve as CEO of PBS, the nation’s largest and only noncommercial broadcasting service. A former network correspondent, independent producer and Time Warner Executive, Pat now oversees the operations of a $1 billion national enterprise made up of 346 member stations.
In her first year at the helm of PBS, Ms. Mitchell is credited with invigorating the primetime programming and revitalizing the PBS schedule. She has also led groundbreaking collaborations with ABC News Nightline, Fox Studios, and created a new on-air and strategic alliance with National Public Radio. This past year, she was named by Forbes magazine as one of the Magnetic 40 corporate executives, included in “12 to Watch” by Electronic Media, Hollywood Reporter’s “Top 40” Women in Entertainment, and named “Woman of the Year” by Women in Cable and Telecommunications.
Ms. Mitchell earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in English at the University of Georgia. She began her professional career on the faculty of her alma mater and Virginia Commonwealth University, and later lectured at the Harvard University Institute of Politics. From 1972 to 1979, Pat worked as a producer, reporter, anchor and program host in local broadcast television. From 1979-1982, she served as a correspondent and substitute anchor for NBC’s Today Show.
She formed her own production company in 1983 and developed and hosted the first all-female talk program, Woman to Woman, which was syndicated to more than 100 stations and won an Emmy for Best Daytime Talk Program. She later developed and hosted Hour Magazine for Group W television, served as producer/reporter for ABC’s Home show and as arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. As an independent producer in the early 1990s, she created and developed reality series, specials and documentaries for cable and broadcast television.
Pat’s leadership extends beyond the media world. She serves on the board of trustees of the Sundance Institute, the Women’s Leadership Advisory Council of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the national board of Girls Inc. She is also one of the founding members of the American chapter of Mikhail Gorbachev’s environmental organization, Green Cross International.
The Margo Johnson Lecture, named for Margo Johnson, headmistress of the Milton Academy Girls’ School from 1949 – 1982, brings accomplished women to the Milton campus.