By Dave Edwards, Chair of the Board, NPR Board of Directors
After a rigorous national search, I'm pleased to announce that we have secured a veteran public media CEO with a successful record of leadership, innovation and public service as NPR's next President and CEO. Gary Knell has devoted the past 20 years to growing his organization, Sesame Workshop, into a dynamic, international enterprise that uses the power of media to help millions of children worldwide reach their highest potential. He begins work at NPR on December 1.
I know I speak for the entire NPR Board when I say that we have found exactly the right leader for NPR. A longtime public radio listener, Gary brings three decades of experience as a mission-focused media executive to NPR. Since taking over as CEO of Sesame Workshop in 2000, he elevated the organization's public profile, growing its programming, revenue and public support. He championed a powerful multimedia strategy to improve the lives of children, families and communities. He brought solid leadership decision-making to the internal operations of the company that stands behind one of the most successful, beloved and recognized brands in television.
With his success navigating a non-commercial organization through an increasingly challenging and complex media environment, Gary's leadership will be a huge asset as NPR and our Member stations seek to become even more essential on every platform of communication.
Though it might not be immediately obvious, Sesame Workshop and NPR have much in common – outstanding, relevant programming and content that increases understanding among people – produced by talented people who are motivated by a dedication to excellence and mission. We look forward to building a bright future under Gary's leadership.
Update at 5:10 pm ET, October 3: For more on Gary, listen to David Folkenflik's interview on Sunday's Weekend All Things Considered and Monday's reports on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.