This year at our Annual Dinner Celebration, WCTE is excited to present the Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison, the President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).CPB’s mission, in Ms. Harrison’s words “is to strengthen and advance public media's service to the American people. We are a non-profit private corporation, and we serve as the steward of the taxpayer's investment.”
Early in her career, Pat was co-founder of the PR agency E. Bruce Harrison Company with her husband E. Bruce Harrison. The company became one of the top-ten owner-managed public affairs firms in the country. According to White House Archives, “she created and directed programs in the public interest… including the National Environmental Association, a partnership of labor, agriculture and industry working for better environmental solutions together.”
Ms. Harrison was appointed by President H. W. Bush to the President’s Export Council, U.S. Dept. of Commerce, where she worked to strengthen export promotion programs. In 1992, she was appointed to serve on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Service Policy Advisory Council, and in 1997, she was elected Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Prior to joining CPB in 2005, Ms. Harrison served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Under her leadership, Ms. Harrison has strengthened public service media through the strategic focus of CPB in three important areas: Digital: CPB investments in innovation and technology; Dialogue: CPB investments in local community engagement, partnerships and service; and Diversity: CPB investments in and commitment to diversity of content, talent and service. To formalize this commitment, Ms. Harrison established the first Diversity and Innovation Fund for public media – radio, television, online and mobile.
In 2011, Ms. Harrison created American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a nationwide public media initiative to help communities across the country identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. To date, more than 70 public media stations in 30 states and Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico are working with more than 800 partners to encourage students to stay on track to graduation.
Ms. Harrison is also chairman of the Advisory Board of Women and Girls Lead, an innovative public media initiative designed to focus, educate and connect women, girls and their allies across the globe to address the challenges of the 21st century. In August 2012, she was included on the Forbes list of “Women Changing the World in Media” for establishing Women and Girls Lead and her continued leadership on the project.
Ms. Harrison is a frequent speaker and writer on the subjects of leadership, communication strategy and constituency building. She is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the 2008 Leadership Award from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the U.S. Secretary of State's Distinguished Service Award. She also sits on the boards of the National Italian American Foundation, The American University in Rome, the Meridian International Center and IREX.
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