As Senior Vice President for System Resources and Technology, Dennis Haarsager oversees all technical divisions outside of News and Digital Media, as well as NPR's primary station-facing division. In this position, Haarsager oversees member station services, leads efforts to improve stations' financial health in our changing media environment, and, inside NPR, ensures reliable and responsive technology services and resources that align with the priorities of those they serve. He moved into his current position in April 2009. Prior to his current role, Haarsager served as an Executive Vice President from January - March 2009 and as NPR's Interim Chief Executive Officer from March 2008 – January 2009. In October 2008, Haarsager was also named acting NPR President, and while serving in that role was an ex officio member of the NPR Board.
Prior to joining the NPR staff, Haarsager had served as Chairman, NPR Board of Directors since 2007 and been a member of the Board since 2005.
Haarsager brings more than 35 years' experience as a public radio station executive to his role. He recently stepped down from his position as Associate Vice President and General Manager of Educational and Public Media for Washington State University's public broadcasting and educational media organization, a post he had held since 1995. He had served as its General Manager for the preceding 17 years. His oversight included the 13-station Northwest Public Radio network, two public television stations, the country's most-trafficked interactive video network and on-campus instructional technology services. Under his leadership, the media group expanded from an AM and TV station to providing statewide public broadcasting and educational technology services, and the group has often been the leader in applications of new technologies to these missions.
Prior to WSU, Dennis served as State Coordinator for Idaho Public Broadcasting and as Director of Administration for South Dakota Public Broadcasting.
Haarsager has been active in numerous public broadcasting organizations. He is currently on the board of American Public television and, in addition to NPRs, has served on a number of other public media boards including public radio's Station Resource Group, where he was Chair; the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS); the Integrated Media Association; public television's University Licensee Association; and West Coast Public Radio, where he was President. He chaired the Public Service Publisher Group, an initiative promoting on-demand distribution of public broadcasting content. He served two terms on the Board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and public television's Small Station Association. From 2001 to 2003, he took a half-time leave of absence to direct the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Digital Distribution Implementation Initiative and has also done consulting work for several other organizations.
A native of Minnesota and South Dakota, Haarsager has a B.S. in political theory and methodology and an M.A. in public administration, both from the University of South Dakota. His weblog, technology360.com, is widely read within public media, and he has written several articles for public broadcasting and technology publications.